Liverpool Wavertree: Tomlinson will not stand for SLP
By Chris Bradley
Ricky Tomlinson will not stand as MP for the Socialist Labour Party [SLP] in Wavertree, but will introduce the candidate in Liverpool next week.
The announcement came in a statement issued by the SLP and Mr Tomlinson said: “I am disappointed.”
But the SLP finally broke their silence over who the candidate for Wavertree will be.
Kim Singleton, from West Derby, is the only local candidate in the running.
She will compete for the seat against Labour’sLuciana Berger, Lib Dem candidate Colin Eldridge and Conservative Andrew Garnett who is hoping for a ‘minor miracle’, as the Tories are are not expected to win in any of the five constituencies.
Ms Singleton will appear at a public meeting in the Wavertree constituency alongside SLP leader Arthur Scargill and Ricky Tomlinson, who told the Liverpool Echo: “I am pleased to give the chosen candidate my wholehearted support.”
He said the his work commitments meant he could not fight the seat.
SLP spokesman Ian Johnson said: “Ricky cannot stand because of personal and contractual commitments. They have made it impossible for him.”
Mr Tomlinson said in February that he was ‘incensed’ by Labour choosing London-born Luciana Berger as the candidate for Liverpool Wavertree.
The decision led many to think former union man Ricky would fight Miss Berger at the polls. Even veteran Labour MP for Walton, Peter Kilfoyle, who is standing down this year, called her a ‘student politician’.
The Royle Family star has had an active political past that earned him notoriety in the 70s.
In 1973, Mr Tomlinson was jailed for 15 months for organising the Flying Pickets, a group of union men who were accused of violent crimes during a nationwide builders strike in 1972. The trial ended with six of the men being jailed.
Mr Tomlinson and his friend, Des Warren, were known as the Shrewsbury Two and both sent to prison, where the two protested through hunger strikes.
In 2007, Peter Kilfoyle, a former defence minister, claimed Mr Tomlinson was the victim of an MI5 dirty tricks campaign and files released that year show that the head of MI5 in 1973, Sir Michael Hanley, blocked the Royle Family star’s release from prison by claiming he was part of a communist plot to destabilise Britain.