AN MP has been given unanimous party backing to defend his seat at the next election.
Shahid Malik will contest Dewsbury for Labour after securing the backing of local party branches and unions.
He said: “Being an MP has been the greatest privilege of my life.
“I am honoured that hundreds of local party members have put their faith in me to be their candidate at the next election.”
Labour activists in Dewsbury, Mirfield, Denby Dale and Kirkburton took part in the selection vote, along with members of the Unison, GMB and Unite unions and the Co-operative Society.
Mr Malik was elected MP for Dewsbury in 2005 with a majority of 4,615 over the Conservatives.
But the seat has been redrawn since then, losing Heckmondwike but gaining Denby Dale and Kirkburton.
Clr Maggie Blanshard, who represents Denby Dale on Kirklees, welcomed Mr Malik’s selection.
She said: “Shahid’s energy, vision and commitment to getting the best for local people is obvious.
“He’s really taken to Denby Dale and I’m sure that, come the election, the village will have really taken to him.’’
This month the Conservatives selected York-based estate agent Kevin Hollinrake to fight Mr Malik at the next election.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown does not have to go to the country until 2010, but some commentators belive he could ask the Queen to dissolve Parliament and call an election as early as next month.