Confident Tories smell blood as MP Rudi steps down
PUBLISHED: 11:41 28 May 2008 | UPDATED: 15:06 07 September 2010
By Katie Davies MARGARET Thatcher s former seat of Finchley and Golders Green was the cause of jubilation among Conservatives again this week as its current Labour MP, Rudi Vis, announced he will not be standing in the next general election. The Dutch cam
By Katie Davies
MARGARET Thatcher's former seat of Finchley and Golders Green was the cause of jubilation among Conservatives again this week as its current Labour MP, Rudi Vis, announced he will not be standing in the next general election.
The Dutch campaigner, who has built a strong reputation in the constituency, announced he will retire from politics ahead of the next vote.
Many believe the move confirms that the seat, already the number one marginal on David Cameron's target list, will be regained by the Tories.
Conservative candidate for the seat, Barnet Council leader Mike Freer said: "This is the most marginal seat in the country - it needs just a 0.2 per cent swing to go to the Conservatives.
"I would have been confident of a change in party whatever happened, but Rudi would have been a worthy opponent.
"Labour now has no chance of winning Finchley and Golders Green. I am a local candidate and we also have a deeply unpopular government and a deeply flawed Prime Minister.
"Glenda Jackson ought to retire gracefully now too."
Mr Vis said he was finding it hard to spend as much time as he would have liked in the constituency.
"It has been an enormous honour to have served as an MP since 1997 and before that as a councillor from 1986 to 1998. Finchley and Golders Green is one of London's most vibrant and varied suburbs,"
Mr Vis came to London in 1970 from his native Netherlands and worked as an economics lecturer before entering politics.
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