Belfast Telegraph

Selina Scott opts out of MP bid

Broadcaster Selina Scott has decided she does not wish to be considered as a Tory candidate for her local Parliamentary seat, after speculation that she might stand.

The former BBC Breakfast Time presenter had been mulling over whether to offer her name for the Conservative seat of Thirsk and Malton, after sitting MP Anne McIntosh was not reselected to stand by the constituency association.

Selina, 63, has now opted not to go ahead, although she has not ruled out becoming "involved" at the general election which will take place in May next year.

She is said to have been approached by senior Conservative figures in the North Yorkshire constituency, and said she had also thought about standing as an independent candidate.

But in a statement today, she said: "This has been a very difficult decision for me and I would like to thank all of those who urged me to stand.

"For some time I have been convinced that if I was to be elected to Parliament I could make a significant difference for the people who live in Thirsk and Malton, where I also live and know well.

"I am intimately involved in the life and issues of the constituency and have fought for its wellbeing over several contentious issues.

"These battles have led me to take a jaundiced view of much of the political landscape which I do not believe serves the public well and which, more importantly, from my conversations the public does not believe serves them well also."

She went on: "Thirsk and Malton is one of the most scenically beautiful constituencies in the country but it also has unacceptable levels of rural poverty.

"After approaches to put my name forward for the vacant seat of Thirsk and Malton following the de-selection of the sitting Conservative MP, I had considered my position and my political allegiances.

"I also considered standing as an independent so that I would not be tied to party politics. This decision not to put my name forward for Thirsk and Malton at this time will not prevent me offering my services to constituencies in the future should I decide to become involved at next May's general election."

There have also been suggestions that she could be considered for William Hague's safe seat of Richmond, when he leaves Parliament next year.

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