Manchester Gorton by-election: Labour set date as 4 May

The late Sir Gerald Kaufman Image copyright PA
Image caption Sir Gerald Kaufman represented the seat for more than 30 years

The Manchester Gorton by-election will be held on 4 May, the Labour Party has confirmed.

The seat has been left vacant following the death of long-serving Labour MP Sir Gerald Kaufman in February.

Labour, who chose North West MEP Afzal Khan to stand in the by-election, are being challenged by the former Labour and Respect MP George Galloway.

Voting will take place on the same day as the Greater Manchester mayoral elections.

Labour's chief whip Nicholas Brown moved a writ in the House of Commons on Tuesday to trigger the by-election which was then approved by MPs.

Lisa Nandy, who is coordinating Labour's campaign, told a meeting of the party's MPs at Westminster on Monday that they were "confident but not complacent" about holding Gorton.

Manchester Gorton has been a Labour seat since 1935. Sir Gerald held it with a majority of 24,079 at the 2015 general election, winning 67% of the total vote.

Sir Gerald, who was the longest-serving MP in Westminster, died aged 86 after serving the constituency for over 30 years.

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

The Lib Dems, who came fifth last time, have selected Jackie Pearcey.

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

George Galloway announced last week he would stand as an independent candidate.

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