More than 20 hopefuls compete for Labour Parliamentary challenge in Gloucester
MORE than 20 hopefuls have thrown their hats in to the ring to try to win back Gloucester's Parliamentary seat for Labour.
The constituency is targeted as a must-win for the party to get back in to Government, and the deadline for nominations was last Thursday.
Ben Mosley and Keir Dhillon have confirmed they will be in the contest to become the party's prospective parliamentary candidate (PPC) ahead of the 2015 General Election.
Sources inside the party say BBC journalist and former Citizen reporter Chris Summers is in the running too.
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But it is understood Parmjit Dhanda, the constituency MP from 2001 to 2010, has not put his name forward.
"There has been really strong interest – well over 20 applications," said a regional spokesman for the party.
"It's one of our target seats we have to win to get back in to Government. The right candidate can do it and I think we have them."
A long list will be whittled down to a shortlist by March 25 before interviews, then a hustings in front of members on April 20, followed by a vote.
"There are going to be a lot of good candidates," said party activist Mr Mosley, of Weston Road, Gloucester. "It's going to be a really good contest."
Former Tewkesbury parliamentary candidate Mr Dhillon, an IT worker from Churchdown, said the city faces many challenges.
"We need an MP to stand up for Gloucester and address issues affecting people every day in the city," he said.
Gloucester is in the Labour Party's list of 106 seats key to winning power, ranked 38th.
Stroud is ranked 16th, where former MP David Drew has been selected as PPC.