LABOUR Party members in Darlington have chosen Jenny Chapman to be their prospective parliamentary candidate at the next General Election.

Mrs Chapman hopes to succeed Alan Milburn as the town’s Member of Parliament following his decision to step down after 18 years at Westminster. Mrs Chapman, aged 36, from Darlington, is currently a councillor on Darlington Borough Council representing Cockerton West ward and is the Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Young People.

The mother-of-two, is also founder and Chair of Newblood Live, a young people’s music charity.

After the hustings meeting and count, held at St Cuthbert’s Church Hall in Darlington on Saturday, Mrs Chapman said: “I am delighted to have been chosen by Labour members to represent them. This shows that the people of Darlington want to choose a Darlington person who will put the town first.

"I have lived in Darlington since my childhood and have chosen to bring up my family here. This is a new beginning for politics in Darlington. I am excited to get out there and campaign on the real improvements the Labour government has delivered for local people. “ David Lyonette, Vice Chair of Darlington Constituency Labour Party said: “This has been a really good contest with some excellent candidates. I’m delighted that members have chosen. She will be an outstanding candidate and will build on the work of Alan Milburn.

"A Tory government would be a disaster for Darlington and we’ll be campaigning hard between now and the next General Election to make sure the people of this town elect Jenny to be our next Labour MP.”

John Williams, Leader of Darlington Borough Council said he was delighted at the choice.

"Today clearly demonstrates that she will be a first rate local candidate for Darlington and I have every confidence in her ability to retain the seat for Labour at the General Election whenever that may be," he said.

"However, it will require hard work from all Labour party members. I’m sure that all members are up for it.”