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Labour shortlist drawn in Pendle election battle
AN ‘unusually’ long list of Labour hopefuls for the Pendle seat has been whittled down from 18 to six.
The aspiring selection hope to fight sitting Tory MP Andrew Stephenson for the marginal constituency in the next general election.
The chosen contenders are the president of Pendle Labour Party, Azhar Ali; Lancashire County Council cabinet member Marcus Johnstone, who represents Padiham and Burnley West; Malcolm Birks; Earby ex-soldier Chris McKimm; Salford city councillor Jim King, who has joined the running from the larger North West Labour Party; and Lesley Delves, the only woman on the list.
The large list of would-be candidates is thought to reflect the marginal nature of the seat – taken from Labour’s Gordon Prentice by just 3,585 votes in 2010.
Liz Savage, the Lancashire party secretary organising the process, said: “I think social media has also played a large part.
“We decided to advertise this seat online and it was really successful.
“I attribute much of the interest in this seat to the use of social media.”
The six would-be MPs are now invited for interview on Sunday, September 1.
A final shortlist will then be prepared for a hustings and vote by Pendle Labour Party members, on September 15, before the prospective candidate will be revealed.
Liz Savage added: “I’d like to see all Labour Party members in Pendle attending the hustings and selection meeting on September 15.
“We want as many people as possible to take part in this democratic process.”
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