Shortlist to replace fraud MP

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LABOUR’S shortlist of candidates to stand in Barnsley Central has been revealed - and some big names have not been selected.

Coun Linda Burgess, Barnsley Council’s cabinet member for children’s services, is chosen along with Richard Burgon, a trade union lawyer backed by ASLEF, Unite and the GMB, who has been a party activist for 20 years.

Emma Hoddinott, third on the regional list for Labour in the 2009 European Parliament elections, has also made the shortlist. She also served as shadow health secretary and Wentworth and Dearne MP John Healey’s agent in May.

Outsider Dan Jarvis, a 38-year-old former soldier who was not originally among the frontrunners for Barnsley Central, spent 15 years in the Parachute Regiment, and worked as an assistant to a Nato commander in the Balkans.

However, unsuccessful candidates include former junior minister Mike O’Brien, who lost his North Warwickshire seat last May, and Annajoy David, a friend of singers Paul Weller and Billy Bragg, Labour candidate in Scarborough and Whitby at the last election.

Also not selected was controversial senior Barnsley councillor Tim Cheetham, a member of the authority’s cabinet with Coun Burgess, who made anti-Roman Catholic remarks about which he has since apologised.

A by-election is taking place in the seat after the resignation of disgraced MP Eric Illsley.

The former NUM officer pleaded guilty to expenses fraud and is to be sentenced next month.