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Candidate has ‘overwhelming’ local support

RUNAWAY CHOICE... Coun John McCabe says Mark Walsh is a popular local choice for Labour to contest the South Shields by-election.

RUNAWAY CHOICE... Coun John McCabe says Mark Walsh is a popular local choice for Labour to contest the South Shields by-election.

WOULD-be South Shields MP Coun Mark Walsh has the overwhelming support of his party locally, it has emerged.

South Shields Constituency Labour Party is determined a candidate born and raised in the town will fight the forthcoming by-election.

And party stalwarts say Coun Walsh fits that bill.

All sections of the town party have spoken out to declare their support for the 46-year-old.

Long-serving Labour Party member Coun Gladys Hobson, of the West Park ward, said: “I have been a Labour Party member for more than 50 years.

“We have never had a local person and the people of South Shields want someone from the town.

“I have known Mark since he joined the Labour Party when he was 15. He is a grafter for the party and will be a solid MP.”

Coun John McCabe, chief whip of South Tyneside Labour group of councillors, launched a poll of councillors from South Shields once Coun Iain Malcolm decided not to run – and found solid support for Coun Walsh.

He said: “Councillors from South Shields were steadfast in their support for Mark Walsh.”

Coun Pat Hay, secretary of the local party’s Women’s Forum, said: “The view of the women members who had contacted me was that they would support Mark Walsh.”

Former borough mayor Coun Alex Donaldson added: “Mark Walsh was a councillor in the area for a number of years and was at the start of major discussions which kick-started the Cleadon Park regeneration programme.”

Whitburn councillor and cabinet member, Coun Tracey Dixon, added: “I actually went to school with Mark Walsh.

“He’s been a fantastic councillor and deserves a chance to be considered.”

 
 
 

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