CLEAR frontrunner Justin Madders will stand for Labour in Ellesmere Port and Neston at the next General Election.
Leader of the opposition group on Cheshire West and Chester Council, the long-serving Ellesmere Port councillor was chosen by party members at hustings at the weekend.
Cllr Madders, who lives in Little Sutton and represents Ellesmere Port town ward, was chosen following the first round of voting after narrowly securing more than 50 per cent of the Ellesmere Port and Neston Labour Party members’ votes.
Cllr Madders, a Chester-based employment lawyer, will now succeed Andrew Miller, MP, as Labour candidate. After 20 years in the post, Mr Miller is stepping down as MP next May.
Mr Miller had a majority of 4,331 at the 2010 General Election and Ellesmere Port and Neston constituency, which also takes in Chester villages including Elton and Mickle Trafford, is regarded as a safe Labour seat, so Cllr Madders has a high chance of taking up a seat in the House of Commons next year.
Cllr Madders had been nominated as Labour candidate by 10 of the 14 wards in the constituency.
Fellow councillor Paul Donovan, who represents Sutton ward in Ellesmere Port, received two ward nominations but also had the backing of the Unite union.
Also challenging for the job with two ward nominations was Liverpool city councillor Dan Hughes, who works in public relations and has worked for Wallasey MP Angela Eagle. He was also being supported by the Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson.
Also on the shortlist, picked from a list of about 20 hopefuls, were Julie McManus, Jacqueline Robinson and Nabil Shabbir.
Cllr Madders, 40, who was leader of the old Ellesmere Port and Neston Borough Council and prior to that chaired its housing committee, said he was honoured to have been chosen.
After being selected by party members meeting at the Sea Cadet HQ in Ellesmere Port, he celebrated with a few drinks with his wife, Cllr Nicole Meardon, and his three children.
Following his selection, Cllr Madders said: “As someone who has grown up in the area I know the place well and the challenges we face. I will stand up for the people of Ellesmere Port and Neston.
“Life seems to have got harder for most people under this Government and I want to do what I can to make life better for the many people who have seen their living standards drop in the last four years.
“I know how difficult people are finding things and I want to do my bit to create a better future for us all.
“I’ll always do what is best for Ellesmere Port and Neston.”