Page last updated at 11:26 GMT, Monday, 15 March 2010

Labour select researcher to fight Airdrie seat

John Reid
Mr Reid announced he would stand down as an MP in September 2007

A 25-year-old parliamentary researcher has been selected to fight for John Reid's Lanarkshire seat at the forthcoming general election.

Pamela Nash was chosen to contest the seat by members of the Airdrie and Shotts Constituency Labour Party.

Mr Reid, 66, announced he would quit Westminster at the next general election in September 2007.

The selection process has been controversial due to a row over an all-female shortlist.

Mr Reid formerly served as home secretary, defence secretary and health secretary but returned to the backbenches in May 2007.

Ms Nash, who currently works as a researcher for the MP and comes from Chapelhall, said she was "delighted" to have been chosen as the constituency's candidate.

I will be doing everything I can to stop the Tories getting back
Pamela Nash
Labour candidate

She added: "This is where I am from and where I grew up.

"The general election is going to be a two horse race between Labour and the Tories and I will be doing everything I can to stop the Tories getting back.

"The people of Lanarkshire have not forgotten what the Tories did to this area, and they have not forgiven them either."

The SNP has chosen Sophia Coyle to stand as its candidate for the Airdrie and Shotts seat.

She stood against Karen Whitefield in the last Scottish Parliament election.

A spokesman for the party said: "It is ridiculous that three years after John Reid announced he was standing down, they have just got round to selecting a candidate.

"Labour abandoned constituents here a long time ago.

"They want someone that will stand up for them. They want a local champion, and they will have that in Sophia Coyle."

The Liberal Democrats have selected John Love as their candidate for the Lanarkshire constituency and the Scottish Conservatives' candidate is Ruth Whitfield.

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