Glenda Jackson won’t stand in next election
11:25 23 June 2011
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»Glenda Jackson has confirmed she will not contest the next election if the coalition government makes it to 2015.
The Oscar-winning actress has been an MP since 1992 and will be 79 by the time of the next election.
She said: “If this government stays until 2015, they may not of course, but if they do, I will be almost 80 and by then it will be time for someone else to have a turn.”
When asked why she would not be standing she added: “We are talking about when I will be nearly 80 – get a grip!”
“There are so many things that I could do with my time I would be hard pressed to decide at this exact moment what I’ll choose.”
She said taking time to travel or taking up a hobby were “possibilities.”
The news comes as a report suggests boundary changes mean a newly formed “Hampstead” constituency would likely go to the Tories.
The government have announced that parliamentary boundaries should be redrawn to equalise constituencies to about 75,000 voters, reducing the number of MPs from 650 to 600 and in London from 73 to 68.
This could mean St John’s Wood being brought into the fold of the new Hampstead constituency at the expense of a united Kilburn – most of which would be absorbed into Brent South, according to the report by Lewis Baston of Democratic Audit.
Westminster North could be scrapped altogether with the wards that make up St John’s Wood – Abbey Road, Church Street and Regent’s Park joining the new Hampstead constituency that could also include Gospel Oak.
Both Holborn and St Pancras and Hornsey and Wood Green would remain almost exactly the same.
No-one really knows where the boundaries will officially end up in September when the government officially announces the new constituencies, but each one must contain within five per cent of the average 76,641 electors meaning that boundaries will have to change to reflect the population.
Currently Westminster North has just 65,936 registered voters and Holborn and St Pancras 85,243 – meaning both will be subject to boundary changes.
Hampstead and Kilburn has 78,522 voters but is still subject to change.
Ms Jackson described the government plans as “overt, blatant gerrymandering of one party in power making sure it stays there.”
Conservative Chris Philp, who lost to Ms Jackson by just 42 seats in 2010, warned people not to get carried away with the suggestions of new boundaries, saying there were “a hundred different ways” the boundaries could be redrawn.
Liberal Democrat candidate Ed Fordham agreed, adding: “if you think this is the end of the story you are reading the wrong book.”