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Fight to replace Frank Field kicks off in Birkenhead

THE fight to replace Frank Field as MP for Birkenhead kicked off today as veteran trade unionist Mick Whitley announced his candidacy.

Mr Whitley, formerly a long-standing convener at the Vauxhall car plant in nearby Ellesmere Port, was born in the area and is the former north-west regional secretary of the Unite union.

He has gained the support of Momentum, which holds a powerful presence in north-west England, while left-wing MPs such as John McDonnell, Rebecca Long-Bailey and Dan Carden have voiced their support.

The local branches of Unite, FBU, RMT, BFAWU and Aslef have also formally endorsed Mr Whitley’s candidacy.

Sources in the Labour Party have told the Star that right-wing former MEP Theresa Griffin is likely to also contest the seat.

Mr Field, first elected to Parliament in 1979, has been unpopular among local Labour members since the 1980s.

He lost a vote of no confidence in August last year, before resigning the Labour whip — and thus automatically leaving the party — a month later.

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