Councillor and CLP secretary Jo Platt has been selected as the Labour candidate in Leigh, following Andy Burnham’s decision to leave Westminster to run for the position of mayor of Greater Manchester. Platt will defend a Labour majority of 14,096 in the north-west constituency.
— Jo Platt (@JoPlattMP) April 28, 2017
Platt emerged ahead of Katy Clark, Jeremy Corbyn’s political secretary, and a former Scottish MP.
Clark was thought to have the backing of Unite but withdrew her application late in the process. So far the NEC panel has shown itself to be unenthusiastic about selecting Corbyn-supporting candidate in Labour-held seats.
Platt, who was Burnham’s agent at the last general election, was heavily backed by the former health secretary.
On Monday he wrote to the NEC to say that the local party and electorate would be unhappy if it opted for a candidate without local ties. He added: “Jo is well-known and well-liked across the Leigh area. She is an excellent campaigner and has been the driving force behind the reinvigoration of Leigh Labour party in recent years.”