Former Corrie star could take place of murdered politician

Tracy Brabin
Tracy Brabin

Former Coronation Street actress Tracy Brabin is among the short-listed Labour candidates hoping to be selected to replace Jo Cox today.

The actress, who has also appeared in Emmerdale and EastEnders, is joined by Jane Thomas in the contest to secure the Labour nomination for the Batley and Spen by-election on October 20.

The West Yorkshire seat has been vacant since Mrs Cox was shot and stabbed to death on June 16.

Labour Party members in the constituency will choose their preferred candidate following a hustings event this evening.

Other major parties, including the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and Ukip, have said they will not field a candidate in the by-election out of respect for Mrs Cox's memory.

But Labour does not expect the election to be "completely uncontested", with Liberty GB and the English Democrats among those previously stating they will contest the seat.

If they do not, the selected Labour candidate would expect to automatically take the seat.

Ms Brabin was born in Batley and worked with Mrs Cox on her campaign to save the town's library.

She played Tricia Armstrong in Coronation Street in the 1990s before appearing as Roxy Drake in EastEnders, and Carole in Emmerdale.

She has also written for shows including Family Affairs, Tracy Beaker and Hollyoaks.

Ms Thomas stood for Parliament as a Labour candidate at the 2010 general election, but came second to the Conservatives in Keighley, West Yorkshire.

She received 17,063 votes compared with 20,003 for Kris Hopkins, currently Northern Ireland minister in Theresa May's Government.

Ms Thomas was aiming to succeed Ann Cryer, who was elected Labour MP for the constituency in 1997.

She lives in Sheffield and until recently was a senior campaigner for Friends of the Earth.