Eastleigh by-election: Mike Thornton chosen as Lib Dem candidate

Mike Thornton Mr Thornton has been a parish and borough councillor since 2007

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The Liberal Democrats have chosen local councillor Mike Thornton as their candidate to stand in the forthcoming Eastleigh by-election.

Mr Thornton was elected after a vote in the Hampshire constituency on Saturday.

The by-election has been triggered by the resignation of Chris Huhne, the ex-Lib Dem MP who admitted perverting the course of justice on Tuesday.

Mr Thornton will stand on 28 February against Tory Maria Hutchings - Labour and UKIP have yet to choose candidates.

The only other known candidate so far is Dr Iain Maclennan, who will stand for the National Health Action Party.

The Lib Dems held the seat in 2010 with a majority of 3,864 votes.

Mr Thornton has been a parish and borough councillor since 2007 and has lived in the local area for 19 years.

His selection was announced in an email to Lib Dem party members by the leader of Eastleigh Council, Keith House.

In it, he said: "I've known Mike for more than five years. He's proved himself to be a hard working and effective local parish and borough councillor."

On Thursday, the Conservatives revealed Mrs Hutchings - who came second to Mr Huhne in the 2010 general election - will represent the party.

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