BBC News: Election 2010 BBC News

Page last updated at 16:35 GMT, Tuesday, 13 April 2010 17:35 UK

Ricky Tomlinson will not stand for SLP in Liverpool

Royle Family star Ricky Tomlinson
Contractual commitments have prevented Mr Tomlinson from standing

Royle Family star Ricky Tomlinson will not stand for the Socialist Labour Party (SLP) at the general election, it has been announced.

The Liverpool actor, 70, had considered standing in the Liverpool Wavertree ward in protest at Labour's selection of Luciana Berger, a Londoner.

The SLP said Mr Tomlinson could not contest the seat due to "personal and contractual commitments".

Kim Singleton, from Merseyside, will be standing for the SLP instead.

Speaking to the BBC last week at Aintree racecourse, Mr Tomlinson had appeared enthusiastic about the role.

'A distraction'

"I've got my heart set on it... I'm absolutely serious about it," he said.

The SLP said Ms Singleton, who it described as having a "proud record of campaigning for workers' rights and social justice", had Mr Tomlinson's "wholehearted support".

Labour's Jane Kennedy is stepping down as MP for the Merseyside constituency.

Ms Berger said: "It is a distraction from the real choice at this election: Labour government or Conservative government.

"The Socialist Labour Party will not form the next government."

A Liberal Democrat spokesman said: "The election in Liverpool has always been a two-horse race between Colin Eldridge and Labour's candidate from London.

"Although Ricky would have brought a sense of humour to the contest, the choice would have been the same: more Labour neglect or local campaigner Colin Eldridge."

The Conservatives, whose candidate is Andrew Garnett, are yet to respond.

The other candidates announced so far in Liverpool Wavertree are:

Green Party: Rebecca Lawson, BNP: Steven McEllenborough, UK Independence Party: Neil Miney

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