Afzal Khan to stand for Labour in Manchester Gorton by-election

Afzal Khan Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Afzal Khan is currently a North West MEP

The Labour party has selected its candidate to stand in the Gorton by-election, following the death of long-serving MP Sir Gerald Kaufman.

Afzal Khan, who is currently a North West MEP, was chosen from a shortlist of five by the local party.

He said he was "proud and honoured" to be chosen and promised to be "a strong voice for the people of Gorton".

Mr Khan was elected to Manchester City Council in 2000 becoming the first Asian Lord Mayor of the city in 2005.

In his acceptance speech, Mr Khan talked about how it had to be "not just a win, but a big win.

Pakistani-born Mr Khan moved to the UK when he was adopted out of poverty as a child.

He worked as a labourer in a cotton mill, a bus driver and a Greater Manchester Police officer, before qualifying as a solicitor as a mature student.

Awarded CBE

In 2008 he was awarded a CBE for his work on community cohesion, inter-faith and local government.

Manchester Gorton has been a Labour seat since 1935 and was represented by Sir Gerald Kaufman for 30 years before his death last month.

Sir Gerald held it with a 24,000 majority at the 2015 general election, winning 67% of the total vote.

The Green Party have chosen 36-year-old entrepreneur Jess Mayo as their candidate.

The Conservatives and UKIP, who came third and fourth respectively in 2015, have yet to name their candidates.

The Lib Dems, who came fifth last time, have selected Jackie Pearcy as their candidate.

On Tuesday George Galloway said he would stand as an independent candidate.

No date has yet been set for the by-election.

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