REDDITCH MP Karen Lumley has said she will not defend her Redditch constituency seat in the forthcoming General Election on June 8.
Mrs Lumley, who has suffered from severe illness for several months, had initially indicated that she would be prepared to fight for the seat, which she took in 2010 from Labour’s Jacqui Smith.
She said: “Redditch has been my home for nearly 20 years and it has been a huge honour to have represented its great people for the past seven.
“Sadly due to ill health I have decided not to stand for re-election.
“There is nothing more important or rewarding than helping people, however I need to be fully fit to be able to undertake the job properly.
“I am immensely grateful to all the fantastic people I have met during my time as a Member of Parliament and want to say a huge thank you for all of their support.
“Redditch deserves strong and stable leadership. Every vote for Theresa May and your local Conservative on 8 June will strengthen our hand in negotiations to get the best possible deal for Brexit and beyond, leaving Britain stronger and better off for the future.”
Mrs Lumley increased her majority at the General Election of 2015 but of late, despite being widely acknowledged by health professionals as fighting for services at the Alex, her name has become synonymous with cuts there as service after service were removed and taken to Worcestershire Royal Hospital.
The loss of maternity, paediatric in-patient care, major gynaecology cases and major accident and emergency, to name just four, left her fighting for just a rump of the services that had been there in past years.
She was also perceived as being out of touch following the tragic death of eight year old Redditch boy Callum Cartlidge who, living just three minutes from the Alex, was taken to the Royal 19 miles away where he passed away.
She has also been battling ill health, with photographs of her of late visibly showing the strains of her illness.
The question now facing local Tories is who they shall choose to replace her, with the key issue of the loss of services at the Alex yet to answered.