Labour moves for quick selection in Kaufman’s Manchester Gorton seat

Labour officials have opted for a fast-track selection for the Manchester by-election with a candidate set to be picked before the end of March.

The party will choose an activist to fight Manchester Gorton on March 22 as expectations mount of a swift contest in what is seen as an ultra-safe Labour seat.

The by-election was triggered by the death of Sir Gerald Kaufman. The veteran MP, father of the House of Commons and former shadow foreign secretary died last month aged 86.

The application process for Manchester opened today and party sources confirmed the deadline for CVs is Monday 13 March.

Labour’s ruling national executive committee is due to longlist candidates by Thursday 16 March before holding shortlisting interviews on Monday 20 March.

There is only one hustings currently planned and this will take place on the evening of the final vote.

The selection panel is made up of Glenis Willmott, chair of the NEC; Andi Fox, a member of the TSSA executive committee; Claudia Webbe, an Islington council cabinet member, anti-gun campaigner and Corbyn supporter; Rebecca Long-Bailey, shadow business secretary, and Commons backbencher Shabana Mahmood.

A spokeswoman for Labour in the north west declined to comment.

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