Final five in the hunt for Halifax seat

Halifax MP Linda Riordan
Halifax MP Linda Riordan

Labour has shortlisted five women in its hunt for a candidate to contest the marginal seat of Halifax at the General Election.

Bradford councillors Naveeda Ikram and Susan Hinchcliffe and Calderdale councillor Dot Foster along with Jo Coles, an aid to Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls, and Holly Walker-Lynch, who works for Yorkshire MEP Linda McAvan, make up the final five.

The hunt for a candidate to contest Halifax was triggered last month by the decision of sitting Labour MP Linda Riordan not to stand in the forthcoming General Election.

The selection process has proved controversial amid suggestions that the Unite union was pressuring the Labour leadership to include Karie Murphy on the shortlist.

Ms Murphy was seeking to become Labour’s candidate for Falkirk when the contest became embroiled in a row of vote-rigging.

She withdrew from the selection process and an internal inquiry subsequently cleared her of any wrongdoing.