Blackpool councillor chosen as Labour general election candidate in Hyndburn

A Blackpool councillor is in the running to become an MP after being chosen by Labour to stand at the July 4 General Election.

Coun Sarah Smith, who represents Marton ward in the town, has already started campaigning after being selected as the party’s candidate for Hyndburn. Announcing her selection on Twitter, she said: "I’m delighted and honoured to be the Labour Party Parliamentary Candidate in Hyndburn.

"Hyndburn is a brilliant and amazing place but it has been let down by 14 years of Conservative failure. On July 4, the people of Hyndburn have the chance to vote for change."


Coun Smith was chosen by the party’s national executive committee to replace the former MP Graham Jones. He had been suspended by Labour during an investigation for alleged antisemitism.

Mr Jones membership suspension was lifted last week giving him time to re-apply for the position in a new selection shortlisting process which finished on Monday. Now the party has announced Cllr Smith will take on sitting Tory MP Sara Britcliffe who had a majority of 2,951 in 2019.

The charity leader says in her Linked In profile that she is ‘fighting to level the playing field for children and young people facing disadvantages’. It adds: "I am passionate about developing strategic partnerships between charities, the private and public sector to tackle some of society’s most wicked problems."

A Labour Party spokeswoman said: "We have selected a fantastic group of candidates in place for the General Election on Thursday July 4. They will be campaigning across the country to bring Labour’s message of change to voters."

Hyndburn is a target seat for Labour that they need to win on July 4 if they are for form a government. The Conservative Party’s determination to keep the seat was demonstrated when Foreign Secretary and former Prime Minister David Cameron came to Oswaldtwistle last week to help Miss Britcliffe launch her re-election campaign.

Coun Smith had previously made a bid to stand as an MP in Blackpool. She was short-listed as a candidate for the Blackpool South seat before Chris Webb was selected in March 2023 and went on to win the recent by-election.

He is standing again in the constituency. Sarah Smith is currently on maternity leave from her role as a Blackpool councillor after giving birth to her son Elijah on March 5, who she shares with husband James.

She has also been involved in boosting opportunities in education for young people in Blackpool through her work with the charity Right to Succeed. Coun Smith was elected to Blackpool Council in May 2023 and chaired the Levelling Up Scrutiny Committee prior to going on maternity leave.