TRAFFORD council leader Andrew Western has announced his intention to run for Labor Party Stretford and Urmston in the next general election.
Cllr Western, who has headed the council’s Labor Group since 2014 and the council since 2018, made the announcement Wednesday via a social media post.
The opening comes as a result of Kate Green’s decision to step down as an MP at the next general election, which is scheduled for 2024 but may be called earlier.
Also in the race to replace Ms Green and keep her seat is Joanne Harding, Trafford Council executive for adult social care.
And LaborList news website believes Salford-born Oxford Council deputy leader Tom Hayes will announce a bid of his own this weekend.
Cllr Western has significant experience at the national level as he challenged Sir Graham Brady for Altrincham and Sale West in the last two elections.
He got a respectable 38.8 percent and then 36.8 percent of the vote, but was still defeated by Sir Graham both times.
The council president’s website reads:[Stretford and Urmston] is the constituency I call home, in the ward I have the privilege of leading and have lived all my life.
“I have nominated myself for selection because I believe I have the Labor values and political experience necessary to be our next Labor candidate.”
In a video highlighting her work in health, social care and women’s rights, Cllr Harding said: “I have always been a strong voice for Stretford and Urmston.
“I’ve never been afraid to make tough decisions or stand up for what I believe in.”
READ MORE: Conservative leader loses seat on disastrous day for Trafford’s Tories.
In the past, the Labor Party used women-only shortlists to replace women who step down from MPs in an effort to improve representation in parliament.
But Cllr Western’s offer supports HuffPost UK’s suggestion that the practice has been scrapped in light of legal advice.
There is just over a week for aspiring candidates for Stretford and Urmston to submit their applications, before being longlisted and shortlisted the following month.
Members are expected to elect their candidate on June 26.