HYNDBURN’S Labour group have announced their candidate in the race to become the borough’s next MP.

The borough council’s Labour Leader Graham Jones has been named as the successor to Greg Pope as Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate.

Following the announcement, Coun Jones said he felt privileged at the party’s backing and said investment, not cuts, would be his route to a better Hyndburn.

He said: "I am honoured and privileged to have been selected by the members of Hyndburn.

“Greg Pope has served with great pride and passion as Hyndburn MP for more than 17 years and I am determined to stand up and fight as he has for the people in this constituency.

“The next election will be a big choice about the change we want.

"The Tories have admitted that they will be cutting public services across Lancashire and we will fight against this.

“Only a Labour government will continue to make a real difference here in East Lancashire, investing in the economy and jobs, housing and regeneration, health and education.

“I will be fighting for a better future for all in Hyndburn.”

Joan Smith, Chair of Hyndburn Labour Party, said: “I am delighted Graham has been selected to join our hard working councillors and party members.

“We are obviously sad to lose such a good MP in Greg Pope but we believe we now have the best possible candidate to win the fight for Hyndburn’s future.”

Others who had expressed an interest to become Labour’s nominee included Bob Wilkinson, who lost his seat on Lancashire County Council in June.

Damian Talbot, who has worked in Jack Straw’s constituency office for 10 years and sits on Blackburn with Darwen Council, had also been a contender but pulled out of the running weeks ago.

The Conservative Party candidate has not yet been chosen according to party members who say they are yet to have received a shortlist from their central office.