BBC News: Election 2010 BBC News

Page last updated at 19:02 GMT, Monday, 19 April 2010 20:02 UK

Voters in Redditch 'will oust Jacqui Smith'

Jacqui Smith
Jacqui Smith was voted in as Redditch MP in 1997

The people of Redditch want a new MP and are ready to say goodbye to Jacqui Smith, the Conservative and Liberal Democrat candidates for the town say.

Ms Smith won the seat in 1997 with a majority of 6,125 which fell to 2,484 in 2001. In 2005 she had a 2,716 majority.

She stood down as Home Secretary last year after criticism over her expenses.

Eight candidates are fighting for the Redditch seat and the Lib Dems and Tories said residents wanted a change.

But Ms Smith said she recognised she had had a "tough year" but was keen to keep serving her constituents.

She said: "I have been immensely honoured to serve the people of Redditch for the past 13 years.

"Despite having had some tough times over the last year, I am very clear it's up to Redditch people to decide who their MP is, not politically-motivated or newspaper campaigns.

"That's why I am very happy to be here, out and about, talking to the people about the choice that we face for the future of the town and the surrounding area."

'Very positive'

Lib Dem candidate Nicholas Lane said he was getting "very positive" feedback about his party when out meeting residents.

"I want to stand up for the people of Redditch in London and look at the issues they want me to look at," he said.

"I think people are looking for a change and on the doorstep I'm getting a very positive response about my party and its policies.

"I think the Liberal Democrats stand a very good chance in Redditch."

Conservative candidate Karen Lumley said last year's county council election results were a good indicator for her party.

"I think people are ready for a change," she said.

"We've seen in county council elections last year that Redditch actually took a full slate of Conservative councillors - the only constituency to do that and that's because people are up for a change, are up for different people to represent them."

• Candidates so far announced for Redditch are: UK Independence Party: Anne Davis; British National Party: Andy Ingram; Liberal Democrats: Nicholas Lane; Conservatives: Karen Lumley; English Democrats: Vincent Schittone; Labour: Jacqui Smith; Independent: Paul Swansborough; Green Party: Kevin White.

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