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Last Updated: Friday, 14 September 2007, 18:48 GMT 19:48 UK
Cormack 'resoundingly readopted'
Sir Patrick Cormack
Sir Patrick called the ballot result "a great relief"
Sir Patrick Cormack, veteran MP for South Staffordshire, has been re-adopted as the Tory candidate to fight the next election.

The party executive deselected him as a candidate by one vote in February but that ballot was later declared void. A further vote in July ended in a tie.

However, on Friday the local party membership voted for the Midlands' longest-serving MP to stay on.

Sir Patrick, 68, called the result of the ballot "a resounding victory".

He has represented the area in the Commons since 1970.

Although precise figures were not given, the MP said slightly more than 80% of the membership voted and he secured more than 75% of the vote.

'Great relief'

"This is a great relief after a long period and I am just very grateful that the membership has expressed such confidence in me," he said.

"I look forward to fighting the next election whenever it comes. I hope we have put all the worry and unpleasantness of the last eight months behind us."

The deselection vote in February had been declared null and void after a probe uncovered irregularities.

It was found that more votes had been cast than there were people at the meeting. There were also accusations that a number of those entitled to attend had not received notice of it.

Then the failure of the South Staffordshire Conservatives' executive council to reach a decision in July meant the matter went to a vote by all local Tory members.

At the last general election, Sir Patrick secured a swing to the Conservatives of 9.4% - the largest pro-Tory surge in support for any candidate.

He entered the Commons as MP for Cannock in 1970.

Under boundary changes, the seat successively became South West Staffordshire in 1974 and South Staffordshire in 1983.

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