Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant says he feels “vindicated” after raising his concerns about plans by a Labour politician to stand for Parliament as well as the County Council.
Mr Fabricant had questioned the motives behind Susan Woodward’s plans to stand as Labour’s candidate for the Cannock Chase seat and retain her seat as councillor for Hednesford and Rawnsley.
Cllr Woodward described the comments of Mr Fabricant – who she lost out to in the 1997 General Election – as “disgraceful” and insisted that she would not attempt to pre-empt the decisions of the electorate in the County Council elections with no date yet set for a General Election.
But yesterday she admitted that she would stand down from the County Council if she is elected to Parliament – a decision Mr Fabricant has again questioned. He said:
“This vindicates my concerns expressed earlier this week, however, I still have to ask: Is it morally right for someone to stand for Council and be elected for a four-year term in June knowing full well that she will have to resign within 50 weeks and cause a costly by-election if she is elected to Parliament in what is one of the safest Labour seats in the country? Is that a prudent use of Council Tax payers’ money?
“I appreciate that she will rightly argue that the electors’ vote at the general election cannot be taken for granted in Cannock Chase, and with recent by-election results, she may be right. But come on: Does this show the sort of commitment needed by either a County Councillor standing for election or a potential Member of Parliament?”
It is estimated that the cost of a County Council by election will be in the order £15,000 to £20,000.