Labour’s most successful candidate for a decade quits race to be mp because momentum backs someone else – cornwall live top universities for psychology

The labour candidate credited for the biggest swing vote in any constituency has thrown in the towel citing both personal reason and a lack of support from the hard left.

Jayne kirkham announced she would withdraw from the contest to become the prospective labour candidate for truro and falmouth at the next general election – whenever that will be – days after announcing she had put her name forward.

The single mum who won the falmouth seat of former labour MP candy atherton on cornwall council after the labour stalwart passed away in october, cited personal reasons for not having another go at wrestling truro and falmouth away from conservative MP sarah newton.Anna gillett

However when pressed harder she admitted she had not received the backing of some members from the hard-left momentum faction who instead have put their weight behind fellow candidate anna gillett.

Ms kirkham said: "I didn’t have the support of some members in the falmouth branch. Anna gillett has been invested by momentum. They are using their massive email list and power to contact members. Something I didn’t have."

However, the former union lawyer and member of the labour party for more than 20 years, said the uncertainty of when a general election might be called at a time when she was looking after her 12-year-old son on her own has added to the pressure and led to her withdrawal from the race.Truro falmouth

She said: "I’m a single mum. My boy just started secondary school and I don’t have any family network and support down here. The truro and falmouth seat is a winnable seat for labour. I can’t believe we still have six tory mps in cornwall. But I expect labour to take this seat at the next general election. Read more

"It could be very soon or in four years time. For me it would be a massive commitment. It takes a lot of energy and money and I don’t have the support.

"It would also mean I’d be working 300 miles away from where I live. I worried about what I would do with my son.Anna gillett if I knew for sure the elections will be in four years’ time then he would be 16 and it might be easier. I would definitely stand. But with the government we have now no-one can say for certain when the elections might be."

Councillor kirkham came second in the snap general election last year behind mrs newton, having won 21,331 votes. Her score represented 37.7% of the votes and a 22% swing in favour of labour, putting the lib dem in distant third with 14.9% of the votes and a -1.9% swing.

She said: "I have been elected to candy’s seat and I want to concentrate on this job.Anna gillett becoming an MP is a much bigger leap from being a councillor and I don’t know if it is something I can take on right now." read more

She believes the work already done in the truro and falmouth area will lay the foundation for whoever labour party members select as their candidate.

"It’s going our way," she said. "We have huge growing support in the area, especially in penryn with the university, falmouth and truro where many NHS workers live and support labour. It’s the rural areas we need to convince that labour can delivery change. It’s great to see the labour candidate will be a woman and will throw my weight behind whoever is selected."

Anna gillett

Commenting on ms kirkham’s personal facebook page, simon durnin said: "jayne, you would have been a fantastic an honest addition to the house. As we both know we are far from political agreement but you have always been a bastion of integrity and someone who stands for exactly what they believe and not to mention someone who would unflinchingly support those who deserve your energy.

"The labour party has missed a massive trick and its a sad indictment of the current state of the party that someone as qualified and decent as yourself, who managed the second biggest swing at the last election, is passed over for what I presume is momentum candidates."

Truro falmouth

Kevin neil added: "whatever your reasons I’m sure they are the right ones. Our struggle can often be challenging and sometimes we need to stop for a rest, before we continue. So I hope you’ll stay with the struggle in ways you wish to and maybe emerge again into the front line when you are ready." read more

She added: "I think the party is strong. There is room for different shades of opinion and it is unhelpful when people talk about the state of the party. It is strong and ready to govern.

"All political parties have more radical members on both sides of the spectrum but what is vitally important is fighting for a labour government whom ever may be leader or candidates.General election jayne did a sterling job and has laid the pathway for the next candidate."

Three candidates have emerged to take the fight to mrs newton, presuming she runs again. Jennifer forbes, with a strong trade union background, anna gillett, who has the backing from momentum and sophie johnson, who was nominated by the co-operative party.

A cornwall labour party spokesman said: "labour has ruled that the party’s candidate for the truro and falmouth constituency must be drawn from an all-women shortlist. Labour came a close second in the constituency last year. Truro and falmouth is one of the seats which labour must win if jeremy corbyn is to be prime minister with an overall majority."