THREE women have been shortlisted to fight a vital Parliamentary seat for Labour, the Examiner can exclusively reveal.
Party activists in Colne Valley will choose between Halifax councillor Megan Swift, Rochdale woman Debbie Abrahams and Joyce Still from Aldershot, at a meeting next week.
The three have been chosen by Labour Party bosses as potential replacements for Kali Mountford MP, who is standing down at the next election.
The Colne Valley constituency – which includes the Holme Valley and Lindley – is one of the most marginal in the country, with Labour beating the Conservatives by just 1,501 votes at the last general election in 2005.
Ms Mountford won the seat for Labour in 1997, successfully defending it at the next two general elections. But she announced in January that she would not stand again for health reasons.
Labour decided in March that the party’s next candidate for Colne Valley would be chosen from an all-women shortlist.
Yesterday the Examiner learnt the names of the three women picked to go forward to a selection meeting on Saturday, May 16.
Whoever is selected will face a tough fight to hold the seat for Labour at the next general election, which must take place by next June at the latest.
Colne Valley is the 56th most marginal constituency in the country and one of a few dozen seats which could be won by any of the three main parties at the next election.
The seat includes the Kirklees Council wards of Colne Valley, Crosland Moor and Netherton, Golcar, Holme Valley North, Holme Valley South and Lindley.
Calendar sports presenter Jason McCartney will contest the seat for the Conservatives while Clr Nicola Turner from Marsden will run for the Lib Dems.