Exclusive: Labour’s candidate selection timetable ahead of Hartlepool by-election

Sienna Rodgers

Labour has prepared a notably short selection timetable for replacing Mike Hill as the party’s parliamentary candidate in the upcoming Hartlepool constituency by-election, LabourList can reveal.

Hill resigned as Labour MP for Hartlepool with immediate effect today, and it is expected that a by-election will be held on May 6th alongside council, mayoral and other elections set to take place across the country.

Below is the timetable:

  • Applications open
  • Freeze date for eligibility – Tuesday 16 March
  • Applications close – Wednesday 17 March, 5pm
  • NEC longlisting – Thursday 18 March
  • NEC shortlisting – Thursday 18 March or Friday 19 March (depending on availability)
  • Online selection hustings – Friday 19 March or Saturday 20 March (depending on shortlist date)

The timetable drafted is set to see Labour’s ruling body, the national executive committee (NEC), produce a longlist and a shortlist on the same day or in the space of two days, and a hustings held on Friday or Saturday.

A spokesperson for the Hartlepool Labour party today said: “Our priority now is to ensure a candidate is in place quickly and we start work immediately on sharing Labour’s positive vision for Hartlepool.

“Over the past ten years Hartlepool has been battered by the Tories down in Westminster… Labour stands up for Hartlepool and we’re proud of the town and believe in its future.”

Hartlepool was held by Labour with a majority of just 3,595 in 2019, and of 7,650 in 2017. UKIP placed second in the constituency in 2015. The Conservatives are thought to be hopeful they could win the seat in May.

Tory chair Amanda Milling tweeted: “Hartlepool has been a Labour stronghold for many years – this will be a very tough fight. Only the Conservative Party got Brexit done and will deliver on the priorities of the people of Hartlepool.”

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