THE selection process to find the final Labour Party candidate for elections in Tony Blair's constituency is to start all over again.

The party stepped in to halt the process following allegations of "irregularities" in the Greenfield and Middridge ward of Newton Aycliffe, County Durham.

Candidates were already in place for two of the three seats in the ward for elections to Sedgefield Borough Council.

But a selection meeting to find the third, which was due to take place last month, was cancelled at the last minute when the allegations surfaced. It had been claimed that material distributed to certain branch members appeared to promote one of the potential candidates and that it gave them an unfair advantage.

A panel, made up of officials from the constituency and district parties, conducted interviews at Trimdon Labour Club last week in an attempt to resolve the embarrassing wrangle.

Labour Party spokesman John Burton said the process had been interfered with by some form of canvassing and it had been decided to start again, with all three seats up for grabs. He said: "We decided to run the whole process again and all three places are going to be selected.

"The selection will be made by the branch itself so there's no question of the constituency picking the people.

"The shortlisting and selection will take place on the same night. Anyone on the approved list can come along that night and present themselves."

The shortlisting and selection meeting will be held at Horndale WMC in Newton Aycliffe tomorrow night.