Weller pal bids to be Barnsley MP

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A FRIEND of singers Paul Weller and Billy Bragg is among those nominated to be Labour candidate to replace disgraced Barnsley Central MP Eric Illsley.

Annajoy David, aged 47, became close to pop stars, including Jam singer Weller while organising fundraising concerts for striking miners in the 1980s.

She stood for Labour in Scarborough and Whitby at the General Election.

The businesswoman, who lives in Essex and runs construction companies, also helped form Red Wedge in the 1980s, a group of celebrities allied to Labour.

Other candidates include former North Warwickshire MP and Government minister Mike O’Brien, Emma Hoddinott, who stood for Labour in the 2009 Euro elections, Kat Fletcher, ex-National Union of Students president, Richard Burgon, a trade union lawyer, and Barnsley Labour councillors Tim Cheetham and Linda Burgess.

Nominations closed yesterday and a shortlist will be announced tomorrow.