A dejected Laura Smith during the Kieran Mullan (Conservatives) acceptance speech (1)

Former Crewe and Nantwich MP Laura Smith has said she will not be standing as Labour’s parliamentary candidate at the next general election, writes Belinda Ryan.

Ms Smith won the seat from the Conservatives in 2017, beating sitting MP Edward Timpson by just 48 votes after three recounts.

Two years later, in the snap election of December 2019, Crewe and Nantwich turned blue again and Dr Kieran Mullan took the seat for the Tories with a majority of more than 8,508.

Ms Smith is currently a serving Cheshire East councillor, having won the Crewe South seat in 2020 in a by-election following the death of long-serving Labour councillor Dorothy Flude.

In a statement issued on social media on Monday, Cllr Smith said: “I have been asked many times if I intend to put myself forward to be the parliamentary candidate at the next general election in Crewe and Nantwich to represent the Labour Party.

“I have come to the decision that this is not something that I am going to do.

“Being elected as an MP in 2017 was an extraordinary moment for me, something that I could never have dreamt of growing up, and without doubt the two and a half years I spent representing my home towns was one of the most incredible experiences of my life — and I will remain eternally grateful for having had that chance.”

She thanked her supporters and said she will continue to do all she can as an activist, trade unionist and local councillor ‘to bring about that better world we all believe in’.

Cllr Smith added: “I have been overwhelmed by kind words that people have said to me over the years.

“Sometimes those words have meant more than you will ever know.

“All I have ever wanted is to fight to help lift up the many people in this country who deserve the same opportunities to succeed.

“That battle continues, and I will continue to do my part.”

Cllr Smith told the Local Democracy Reporting Service she does intend to put herself forward as a candidate for the Cheshire East Council local elections.

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