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Lynne Jones MP

Maverick backbench MP Lynne Jones has dropped a heavy hint that her leaving present to Labour when stands down at the next election will be to vote for a rival party.

Jones is quitting as member of parliament for Selly Oak, but boundary changes mean that she now lives in the reconstituted Hall Green constituency – and as such, her loyalties might be expected to lie with Roger Godsiff, currently MP for Sparkbrook and Small Heath.

But in a speech at Westminster Hall yesterday, she implied that she would support either Liberal Democrat Jerry Evans or Respect’s Salma Yaqoob, in what is widely regarded as a three horse race.

Jones said: “. I was not happy with the endorsement of the Labour candidate in that constituency.

“Because there is no risk of the Tories winning that seat, I may allow myself a little tactical voting by supporting the candidate who most shares my values.”

The news will be a godsend to Godsiff’s opponents, and The Stirrer Forum is abuzz with rumours about whether she’s backing Yaqoob or Evans.

When it comes to the Selly Oak and Northfield constituencies, on the other hand, Jones has no hesitation in backing her own side, saying: “ It will generally be a straight fight between Labour and Conservative...

“I hope that Labour candidates will be elected, because I do not trust the Tories to take up the equality agenda.

“Although I am disappointed in some of the outcomes achieved under the present Government, things have become better for many people.

“Public services have improved, and that would not have happened if we had continued with a Conservative Government in 1997.”

Lynne Jones was unavilable for comment last night.



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