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Council leader is Labour candidate in Oldham West and Royton by-election

Published 05/11/2015

Jim McMahon will fight to retain the seat for Labour
Jim McMahon will fight to retain the seat for Labour

A Labour council leader has been chosen as the party's candidate in the Oldham West and Royton by-election, seeing off the challenge from more left-wing rivals including a former MP and ally of Jeremy Corbyn.

Jim McMahon will fight to retain the seat for Labour in the contest triggered by the death of former minister Michael Meacher, who represented Oldham in the Commons for 45 years.

He defeated rivals in the selection contest including former MP Chris Williamson, a left-winger and prominent supporter of Mr Corbyn's campaign for the Labour leadership.

Mr Corbyn offered his congratulations to Mr McMahon, adding: "I look forward to campaigning with him."

Mr McMahon, leader of Oldham Council, said he was "delighted to be selected" adding: " This is my home town and I will always be a strong voice for Chadderton, Hollinwood, Oldham and Royton.

"The Tories have broken their promise to stand up for working families. Here in Oldham 17,000 working families and over 21,000 families with children are set to lose an average £1,300 a year in tax credit cuts, w hile Tory plans to cut police could see Greater Manchester lose a further 1,300 officers, putting public safety at risk.

"The Tories are failing local people. I will always speak up for Oldham and stand up for hardworking families here."

Mr Meacher held the seat in May with a majority of 14,738, taking a 54.8% share of the vote, with Ukip finished second, polling 20.6%.

Meanwhile the Tories have selected solicitor James Daly as their candidate for the seat, in which they trailed Ukip by just over 700 votes in May.

Mr Daly, 39, said: "I intend to stand up for the hardworking people of Oldham West and Royton on the issues that matter to them, and I know how to fight to get their voices heard. I will campaign tirelessly as the Conservative candidate here."

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