LABOUR have selected the man they believe can oust Ian Liddell-Grainger as Bridgwater and West Somerset MP at the next General Election.

The 32-year-old was selected from a field of eight candidates at a Somerset Labour meeting held at Bridgwater Arts Centre this week.

Mr Thornton originally hails from Yorkshire and worked in London for the last 10 years to help transform the way financial crime is predicted and detected.

Mr Thornton said: “You may wonder why a proud Yorkshireman is campaigning to represent the good people of Bridgwater & West Somerset in Parliament.

“The truth is I fell in love with a local South West girl and before long I fell in love with the South West too.

“I studied at my local comprehensive school and I spent my childhood on the wild North Yorkshire Moors, not unlike our local Exmoor.

“My wife is the latest in five generations of West Country farmers.

“I have a 1st class degree in Law and I’m experienced working with regulatory bodies, under scrutiny and under pressure as would be required of me as MP.

“I regularly work with diverse stakeholders from different jurisdictions and backgrounds, with different interests and conflicting visions of the future.

“I believe in understanding, dialogue and compromise and that’s how I operate.”

Regarding Brexit, Mr Thornton said he was in favour of a confirmatory referendum which would give an ‘informed and democratic choice between a Brexit that doesn’t destroy workers rights or the environment and an option to remain’.

“Whether you voted to leave or remain we now need to look to the future and bring our divided nation together. I trust regular people to make the judgement on our future relationship with the European Union.”

In the 2017 election Labour came second with Wes Hinckes amassing more than 16,000 votes, while Conservative Ian Liddell-Grainger gained 32,111 votes.

Labour leader Cllr Brian Smedley said: “Bridgwater and West Somerset is clearly now a target seat for Labour. There never has been a better time for Labour to unseat the Conservatives in this constituency and we now have a candidate with the qualities who can do it.”