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Past and present Labour MPs square off in Hartlepool

Analysis: byelection tests Keir Starmer’s party against both Conservatives and former colleagues

It is the first big electoral test of Keir Starmer’s leadership, but in the forthcoming Hartlepool byelection Labour will not just be up against the Conservatives – newly emboldened in the north-east after the party’s triumph in 2019 – but also former parliamentary party colleagues.

Thelma Walker, who was elected to represent the Colne Valley in 2017, will be one of three ex-Labour MPs on the ballot and is running as a candidate for the Northern Independence party (NIP).

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