LABOUR has selected its candidate to try and win back Burnley from the town's first Conservative MP since 1910.

When Haslingden-born banker Antony Higginbotham won the Parliamentary seat in 2019 he was its first Tory MP in 109 years.

Burnley Labour Party has selected lawyer and council worker Oliver Ryan at its candidate to take him on at the next General Election.

Following a hustings and vote of local Labour Party members on Saturday Mr Ryan won a majority of votes cast.

He said: “It is such an honour to have been selected as the Parliamentary candidate for Burnley.

"Burnley is the heartbeat of Lancashire and I am humbled and extremely proud to have been backed by so many Labour members, councillors, unions and affiliates. It shows that we have the movement to win here in Burnley.

“Burnley deserves better than this government and the current MP interested in their own survival only. Boris Johnson’s government might be ending but the rot goes right through the Conservative Party. Antony Higginbotham stood by him repeatedly, despite them lurching from one crisis to the next, despite the lies, despite the erosion of standards in public life.

“Only Labour has a plan to help people through the cost of living crisis, fix our broken transport system and ensure people feel safe on our streets.”

Mr Ryan lives in Ashton-under-Lyne.

He attended the University of Manchester to read Politics and Modern History before completing a postgraduate qualification in law.

Mr Ryan is cabinet member for finance, economic growth, and regeneration on Tameside Council.

Mr Higginbotham said: “For decades the Labour Party have let Burnley and Padiham down. They took our borough for granted, starving it of investment and when that investment did come, it was in the form of expensive PFI contracts that we are still paying back now.

"But we are now seeing that change under this Conservative Government.

"Since I got elected in 2019 tens of millions of pounds has been brought to the borough, enabling us to start work regenerating our town centre, investing record amounts in education, levelling up our borough, and beginning work on the Padiham flood defences.”