A controversial former MP has been selected to by Labour to fight the seat he lost by almost 3,000 votes in 2019 at the next general election.

The Hyndburn party chose Graham Jones as its candidate to try and regain the constituency from the Conservatives when it met on Saturday.

He beat Wigan councillor Nazia Rehman to secure the nomination.

Mr Jones was MP for Hyndburn from May 2010 until the November 2019 poll when he was defeated by Conservative Sara Britcliffe, as many northern 'Red Wall' seats fell to her party.

On Sunday, Rossendale and Darwen Labour Party chose veteran local councillor Andy MacNae as its candidate to try and unseat Tory MP Sir Jake Berry.

Lancashire Telegraph: Andy McNaue and his family celebrating his selectionAndy McNaue and his family celebrating his selection

He was chosen from a shortlist of three including Blackburn with Darwen Council finance boss Cllr Vicky McGurk.

According to polling aggregation site Electoral Calculus, if a general election were held tomorrow, both men would win their respective seats for Labour.

Mr Jones said: “It is such an honour to have been selected as the Parliamentary candidate once again for Haslingden and Hyndburn.

“I am humbled and extremely proud to have been backed by so many local Labour members, councillors, unions and affiliates.

"It shows the strength of our local party, that we are united, looking to the future and want to bring hope.

“I want politics in Hyndburn to return to a kinder approach, focused on putting residents first and to be about the issues that affect people."

A Labour Party spokesperson said: "Graham Jones is an outstanding choice to win back Hyndburn at the next general election.

"He is a life-long Labour campaigner and has lived in Lancashire all of his life. Graham brings a wealth of experience as the former MP and will hit the ground running."

Lancashire Telegraph: The Hyndburn Labour party with candidate Graham Jones, centreThe Hyndburn Labour party with candidate Graham Jones, centre

Since losing his seat, Mr Jones has become a controversial figure in Hyndburn politics as the council Labour group disintegrated, with several senior figures quitting after the authority's leader Cllr Miles Parkinson resigned from the party in March last year claiming it had become "unpleasant, bullying and vindictive".

Some people have blamed Mr Jones for the turmoil - an allegation he has always strongly denied.

Miss Britcliffe said of his selection: "Congratulations to Graham.

"As a proud local MP I have helped secure the government's largest-ever investment in our home.

"I look forward to campaigning on our respective records."

Following his selection to fight Rossendale and Darwen against Sir Jake, who has been the MP since 2010 and held the seat in 2019 with a majority of 9,522, Stackstead's ward's Cllr MacNae said: “I am extremely proud to have been backed by so many Labour members.

"This is my home and I want to give our residents the representation they deserve."

The Labour Party spokesperson added: “Andy lives in Bacup and his son attends the local school. He has been a Rossendale councillor for 12 years, and was cabinet member for regeneration, leisure and tourism."

Sitting Labour MP Kate Hollern has been re-selected to fight Blackburn and lawyer Oliver Ryan to contest Burnley.

According to Electoral Calculus, Labour would win a landslide majority if an election were held tomorrow, taking 484 of Parliament's 650 seats.

It says Kate Hollern has a 100 per cent chance of retaining the Blackburn seat.

Labour would have a 98 per chance of winning Hyndburn, a 96 per cent chance of winning Burnley, and a 94 per cent chance of taking Rossendale and Darwen.

It would also have a 95 per cent chance of taking Pendle and a 75 per cent chance of taking the Ribble Valley.