Councillor announced as MP candidate

Coun Jo Platt, Labour's candidate to become Leigh MP
Coun Jo Platt, Labour's candidate to become Leigh MP

Wigan Council cabinet member Jo Platt has been announced as the Labour Party candidate to become Leigh MP.

The portfolio holder for children and young people will bid to succeed Andy Burnham and represent the town in Parliament.

Coun Platt beat bids from Katy Clark, an aide to party leader Jeremy Corbyn, and previous parliamentary candidates James Frith and Emily Brothers.

She tweeted: “Absolutely thrilled to represent Labour in Leigh in the General Election. The fight back starts now!”

The appointment also drew the approval of Wigan MP Lisa Nandy on the social media site.

Ms Nandy wrote: “Delighted that @CllrJoP is @UKLabour’s candidate for Leigh. Great councillor with a strong track record of delivering for the borough.”

Coun Platt becomes the odds-on favourite to win the vote on June 8 and represent Leigh in the House of Commons. Mr Burnham won with a majority of 14,096 at the last election.

The Leigh candidate was the last to be announced on a long day of interviews as Labour decided who would represent the party in 13 seats in the upcoming campaign.

The race to succeed Mr Burnham as Labour representative in Leigh had proved controversial, with Wigan Council leader Lord Smith previously saying he would resign as chair of the local constituency Labour party (CLP) if Ms Clark was parachuted in.

Coun Platt’s bid to join the House of Commons enjoyed prominent support from council colleagues and activists, with Mr Burnham also writing to senior figures in the Labour Party to back her bid.

The nominations were decided by representatives of the party’s regional boards and national executive committee.