Blackpool South MP Scott Benton says it is ‘business as usual’ for the time being
Blackpool South MP Scott Benton has responded to speculation he will stand down before the next General Election – saying, for the time being, it is “business as usual”.
Claims Mr Benton will switch to a safer seat have been made on ConservativeHome, a political bog which supports the Conservative Party. The blog says Mr Benton is among MPs who will stand down from their current seats which have been subjected to boundary changes, and seek to run in safer seats instead.
Mr Benton, who won his seat from Labour’s Gordon Marsden in 2019 with a majority of 3,690, said it was ‘business as usual’. But he added he was on a displacement list of MPs who have the option of applying to stand elsewhere at the next election.
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He said: “As some of you may know, the parliamentary boundaries have changed ahead of the next election. Blackpool South becomes far larger taking in an extra 18,000 people from Blackpool North.
“A small number of Conservative MPs who’s constituencies have significantly changed have been placed on a ‘displacement list’ which means that as well as having the option to stand in their current seat, they can also apply to stand elsewhere at the next election. I have not ’stood down’ from Blackpool South but I am on the list of displaced MPs.
“I was unanimously reselected by my local Conservative Association last year before the new boundaries. If, for whatever reason, I don’t choose to stand here at the next election, I will let my local party know first, but it’s very much business as usual in the meantime. I have a packed few weeks during the Easter holidays and I’ll see many of you at different events and as I support our local election candidates.”
A review of all constituencies in England is recommending the Blackpool South constituency is expanded to include its existing boundaries and 30 per cent of the area of the current Blackpool North and Cleveleys constituency. Blackpool North and Cleveleys is set to revert back to being called Blackpool North and Fleetwood, including just under 70 per cent of the current constituency and around 28 per cent of Fleeetwood and Lancaster, and 16 per cent of Wyre and Preston North.
- 13:59, 31 MAR 2023