Battle looms in Halifax as MP Linda Riordan steps down at election

Linda Riordan is expected to announce she is standing down today

Linda Riordan is expected to announce she is standing down today

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Halifax MP Linda Riordan has announced that she will stand down at the General Election, citing health reasons.

Mrs Riordan informed her local Labour Party colleagues of her decision last night and a formal announcement followed this morning.

Halifax is one of the battleground seats in May’s election with Labour defending a majority of just 1,472 from 2010.

Leaving her decision until so close to election day means that the party nationally will be able to exert more control over who is selected to stand in the town.

Calderdale Labour Party said in a statement on its website: “Members of Calderdale Labour group are sorry and saddened to hear that Linda Riordan MP has decided not to stand again at the General Election due to increasing health problems.

“It may not always have been obvious to the wider public, but those of us who work with Linda have always been aware of how severe her rheumatoid arthritis was – something that she rarely mentioned publicly except when lobbying for better support for her fellow sufferers.

“As Linda has always been proud to represent the town in which she was born and has lived all her life, we all appreciate that this must have been a tough decision for her to take. As Halifax’s MP, she has spoken out fearlessly against coalition policies which have done so much harm to people in the town, particularly their assault on the National Health Service, their welfare cuts, and threat to our Accident and Emergency.”

Mrs Riordan was first elected as Halifax MP in 2005, following her Labour predecessor Alice Mahon’s decision to step down.

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