Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Colne Valley, Binnie Joshi Barr, has stood down due to ill health.
The mother of two, who was selected to take on Tory MP Jason McCartney for the seat, has quit.
Now Labour Party officials will have to re-start the selection process.
The news was confirmed by Mrs Barr in a letter to local party members in which she revealed she is suffering from worsening rheumatoid arthritis.
She said: “Colne Valley deserves and will have a Labour MP in 2015. Unfortunately due to ill health, it is not going to be me.
“Since the birth of my daughter Aarya eight weeks ago, my rheumatoid arthritis has returned and worse than before. I have regrettably come to the conclusion that I will not be physically able to give what is needed in the campaign to win back Colne Valley for Ed Miliband’s One Nation Labour Party in 2015”.
She told party members: “I am immensely grateful for the support and belief you have given me in selecting and supporting me as your candidate. I will continue to work alongside you all in our fight to return a Labour MP to parliament.
“Right now, we all have a common purpose and that is to work hard in the local and Euro elections to win as many seats as we possibly can. Rather than distract with my news, I want us all to work together to achieve this goal. I will work alongside the CLP in helping select a new candidate and support them in any way I can”.
Mrs Barr, who has a son Kishan, runs the Batter Sea fish shop in Linthwaite.
Steve Morris, who chairs Colne Valley Labour Party, said: “Binnie would have made a fantastic MP for Colne Valley, so it’s a great shame she cannot continue the campaign due to ill health. We will be sad to lose her as our candidate but respect her decision, and very much hope her health will improve again soon.
“With such damage being done to areas of the country like ours at the hands of David Cameron’s out of touch government, next year’s general election will be hugely important – Colne Valley badly needs a Labour MP on the side of local people. We will continue to campaign hard, and will rally around whomever we select as our candidate in place of Binnie.”
A Yorkshire and Humber Labour Party spokesperson said: “Regretfully, we can confirm that Binnie Joshi Barr has stood down as prospective parliamentary candidate for Colne Valley due to ill health. A new selection process, run by local members, will take place in due course.”
Mr McCartney succeeded Kali Mountford as the Valley MP and she had serious health problems.
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