THE Labour Party has announced its candidate to fight the Penistone and Stocksbridge seat vacated by ex-Labour MP Angela Smith.

Ms Smith quit Labour earlier this year, and ended up joining the Liberal Democrats but last week announced she will not contest her seat again. She will instead seek election in Greater Manchester.

Francyne Johnson has been selected as Labour’s candidate for the Penistone and Stocksbridge constituency.

Members picked Francyne, a local mum with a background in youth and community work.

Francyne represents Stocksbridge and Upper Don ward in the constituency as a councillor and the party said she has a ‘strong reputation for supporting grassroots community campaigns and fighting Tory cuts to NHS services’.

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Francyne said: “The Tories are destroying the fabric of our society. The next general election is our last opportunity to rescue our NHS, tackle the climate crisis and to invest in our public services which have been ground down after a decade of austerity and privatisation.

“I come from a working-class background and have worked in retail, catering and cleaning. I know what it’s like trying to raise a family on a low income. It’s so vital that we have more MPs with this experience - they are meant to represent us after all.

“People in Penistone and Stocksbridge have been let down badly by the Tories and the Lib Dems. The more rural areas like ours are really hit hard by the cuts. Only a Labour government will get the funding we need into our public transport, our schools and our NHS.”