Page last updated at 18:21 GMT, Thursday, 12 June 2008 19:21 UK

Will any party challenge Davis?

David Davis
Mr Davis is hoping for a speedy return to Westminster

Labour is deciding whether to field a candidate in the by-election prompted by the resignation of shadow home secretary David Davis as an MP.

The Lib Dems and BNP have both said they will not contest his seat of Haltemprice and Howden, East Yorkshire.

Meanwhile, the UK Independence Party is waiting to see what Mr Davis's campaign stance on the EU Treaty will be.

If no other candidate comes forward by close of nominations he will be returned as MP without a vote.

The date for a by-election will be down to Tory party whips, with local party contacts saying it is likely to be 3 July or 10 July.

Labour has said it will not make a decision on whether to stand a candidate until Mr Davis has officially stood down as an MP, which is likely to happen on Friday or Monday.

Home Ofice minister Tony McNulty told Channel 4 News that Labour needed "a little time to determine whether this is a genuine by-election or a vanity project".

Former minister Denis MacShane told the BBC: "I hope the other parties don't dignify what is clearly a one-man stunt... I think David will be re-elected and people will see straight through this."

Mr Davis is resigning as an MP, saying he will fight a by-election on the basis of his opposition to government terror detention plans.

'Issue of principle'

The Lib Dems had targeted the seat in 2005 as part of its ill-fated "decapitation" strategy to unseat key Tory figures but Mr Davis was re-elected with a 5,116 majority.

David Davis (Con): 22,792
Jon Neal (LD): 17,676
Edward Hart (Lab): 6,104
Jonathan Mainprize (BNP): 798
Philip Lane (UKIP): 659

Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg said that, as his party agreed that the limit should be kept at 28 days rather than extended to 42 days, it would not put forward a challenger in the by-election.

He told the BBC: "Given that he wants to call the by-election on this issue, whilst we may disagree on so many issues, we agree on this one.

"I'm always being told that politicians need to be big enough to sometimes set aside narrow party political advantage if a big issue of principle is at stake.

"My judgement is that it's exactly one of those cases. And that's why we are taking the step of not contesting the by-election."

'Fundamental rights'

BNP chairman Nick Griffin said: "We decided we should not stand the moment we heard about it.

"We agree totally with Davis's stance and it would be hypocritical to stand on that basis. It is a such an important issue that people need a chance to give the political elite a bloody nose."

Godfrey Bloom, a UKIP MEP for the area covering Mr Davis's constituency, said: "I applaud David Davies' stand in defence of our fundamental British rights and freedoms.

"I hope, of course, that this includes the Treaty of Lisbon which represents a much larger threat than any laws being debated in Westminster. In this case, I would be happy to campaign for David Davies in this by-election."

At the last general election, in 2005, Mr Davis won the seat with a 5,000-vote majority over the Lib Dems. Labour was third, the BNP fourth and UKIP fifth.

Mr Davis' local party supported his decision to quit as an MP, its chairman Duncan Gilmour said.

"David is a man of principle and we fully back him," he said.

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