LABOUR will select its candidate to defend the upcoming South Shields by-election on Wednesday.
The party has announced a short-list of four candidates to fight the seat left vacant by the resignation of former Foreign Secretary David Miliband.
The candidates are Lewis Atkinson, an NHS worker from South Shields, Emma Lewell-Buck, a social worker and South Tyneside Councillor for Primrose Ward, Coun Mark Walsh, the member for Horsley Hill Ward, and Paul Williams, a doctor and GP Commissioner from Stockton.
Local party members will decide the final selection at a constituency meeting on Wednesday evening.
An official date for the by-election is yet to be announced although it could take place as early as May 2 to coincide with local government elections.
UKIP today announced their candidate for the upcoming by-election, selecting 62-year-old former primary school teacher Richard Elvin to contest the seat.
Mr Elvin, from Hetton-le-Hole, said: “I am delighted to be selected. To have the chance to fight to represent the people of South Shields is an honour.
“Unlike previous politicians who were parachuted in to a safe seat in order to get into cabinet, my focus and drive is to serve the local area”.
The news came as Labour launched their local election campaign in the North East with Jack Dromey MP, Shadow Communities and Local Government Minister, visiting key target councils in North Tyneside and Northumberland.