Andrew Smith, the Oxford East Labour MP for 30 years, has announced he will not be standing as a candidate in June’s snap general election.In a message to constituents on his website, Smith, 66, said: “This election is for a Parliament which is likely to run until 2022, when I would be over 71, so I think it is now time for someone else to take forward the work of serving local people as your MP. I will therefore not be a candidate in the election.”Thanking constituents for their support, Smith added: “It has been a huge privilege to serve as MP for Oxford East, and we have achieved so much together.”“My belief and confidence in the values of fairness which Labour stands for are as strong as ever, and I will work tirelessly to help secure the election of a Labour MP for Oxford East, carrying forward the service which Oxford Labour gives our local community.”Smith’s decision follows Theresa May’s surprise announcement yesterday of a snap general election to be held on 8 June.The announcement will open a nomination process for Smith’s replacement as Labour’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the seat. The Oxford East constituency contains the majority of University colleges and the Oxford city centre.Smith, who studied at St John’s college, was first elected as Member of Parliament for Oxford East in 1987, beating the Conservative candidate. He has held the seat ever since, with a majority of 15,280 from the 2015 general election.He briefly served as a minister in the Department of Education after Labour’s 1997 election win, before becoming Chief Secretary to the Treasury from 1999 to 2002. He was Secretary of State for Work and Pensions from 2002 to 2004.In his statement today, Smith said: “I am very thankful to constituents, Labour members and my office staff for their support and work over the years.“It is always hard to give up a job you love, but that time comes.”Constituents have expressed their sadness at his departure on social media.https://twitter.com/CllrTomHayes/status/854655486377033730I am really sorry about this. Genuine, hard working, thoughtful MP.— Peter Hutchinson (@Catus14) April 19, 2017https://twitter.com/billfranklinuk/status/854659041922097153
ELLSWORTH — A new Ellsworth girls’ swim team record was set Friday night as the Eagles took on Mount Desert Island at the Down East Family YMCA.Caitlin MacPherson, Caroline Mazgaj, Ellie Anderson and Kristy Barry set the new mark in the 400-yard freestyle relay. The quartet finished with a time of 3 minutes, 55.66 seconds.Last season, MacPherson and Barry were part of the team that set the previous record in the same relay event. They did so along with Ellie Clarke and Miriam Nelson, finishing in 3:57.72.MacPherson, Barry and Anderson also helped Ellsworth to a win in the 200-yard medley relay, the opening leg of which was swam by MacPherson’s sister, Leah. Barry (200-yard freestyle and 100-yard backstroke), MacPherson (100-yard freestyle) and Anderson (50-yard freestyle) added individual victories for the Eagles, who fell to MDI 92-77 in a hard-fought contest.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textThe Ellsworth boys earned relay wins in the 200 medley relay (Sean Hill, Nick Partridge, Lucas Fendl and Henry Scheff) and 400-yard freestyle relay (Ryan Ulichny, Partridge, Scheff and Hill). Hill (200-yard individual medley) and Partridge (100 freestyle and 100-yard backstroke) earned two individual wins apiece for the Eagles, who lost to the two-time defending state champion Trojans by a score of 106-62 in the team competition.On Saturday, Ellsworth’s Elena Springer claimed first place in the MDI Diving Invitational in Bar Harbor. She finished with a score of 150.8.Ellsworth is set to take on Belfast at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 13. The Eagles will return to action later in the week when they face off against Old Town at 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17, at Old Town High School.