LONG-SERVING Dursley councillor Doina Cornell is apparently the front-runner in the race to stand for the Labour Party in June’s shock snap election.

Cllr Cornell, who represents the town on the district council, said she was “keen” to be involved and that many people had asked her to stand, but a decision had yet to be made.

Stroud Constituency Labour Party’s executive committee met yesterday to discuss the election, although a final decision on who will run against the incumbent MP, Conservative Neil Carmichael, will not be made until guidance has been received from the party at a national level.

Mr Carmichael, chairman of the House of Commons education select committee, has won the previous two general elections for the Stroud constituency, increasing his majority to almost 5,000 votes in 2015, however the seat was held by Labour’s David Drew between 1997 and 2010.

The June 8 election in Stroud is likely to be a two-horse race between the two parties.

Members of Stroud’s Labour Party welcomed the snap election, along with Mr Carmichael who described it as “bold” but “the right thing to do”.

He said: “I’m ready for a fight in the General election, and I think the summer will be a fine time for an election.

“I was surprised by the decision, but it’s right to give the people a say on the future.

“She [Theresa May] made a bold move to call the election but I think it is the right thing to do.”

Speaking to the Gazette, Cllr Cornell, the deputy leader of the Labour group on Stroud District Council, put herself forward to stand in June.

“I am not surprised by the election and locally the Labour Party welcome it, we have a good story to tell and this is our chance to get our voice heard,” she said.

“It is still a marginal seat and we are certainly going in to try and win it, we won’t send our resources elsewhere.

“I can tell you that a lot of people in the Labour party have been coming up to me and asking me to run.

“I am quite keen to be involved in some way.” 

Labour leader of Stroud District Council, Steve Lydon, backed Cllr Cornell’s sentiment but appeared to rule himself out as a possible candidate for the party in June.

“Bring it on,” he said. “The people of Stroud will have this opportunity to show their opposition to the Tories who are wrecking our NHS, causing record amounts of people to live in poverty and a national housing crisis.

“I am content to be leader of Stroud District Council and a candidate for the forthcoming county elections.”

The General Election will take place on June 8 after MPs supported Theresa May’s motion yesterday with only 13 members voting against it.

No decision has been made on who will stand for Labour in June.