Labour members gather tonight to choose Copeland candidate

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May Whitehaven News

Labour members are due to pick their candidate for the Copeland by-election after a final showdown between three local activists tonight.

They will gather in Egremont market hall in the West Cumbrian town to pick one of three women to defend Jamie Reed’s 2,564 majority.

Rachel Holliday, the founder of a hostel for the homeless, is the favourite and is thought to be the preferred candidate to aides of Jeremy Corbyn.

She faces strong local campaigners, however, in Barbara Cannon and Gillian Troughton, both councillors.

Cannon is an Allerdale borough councillor who lives in Workington while Troughton is a Cumbria county councillor who lives in Whitehaven. Troughton also serves on Copeland borough council.

All the shortlisted candidates have a record of standing up for the NHS, which has been at the forefront of Labour’s campaign, amid the threat of downgrading maternity services at the local West Cumberland hospital, which could mean expectant mothers have to carry out an 80-mile round trip to Carlisle for consultant-led care.

The local Whitehaven News, which covers Copeland, this week raised the pressure on Theresa May over the local hospital, above.

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