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Oldham West by-election date confirmed

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The Oldham West and Royton by-election will be held on Thursday, 3 December, it has been announced.

The by-election has been triggered by the death of long-serving Labour MP Michael Meacher.

Labour chief whip Rosie Winterton moved the writ in the House of Commons to formally begin the process.

Mr Meacher, a former environment minister, held the seat for Labour in May with a 14,738 majority from UKIP in second place.

Labour has drawn up a shortlist of four candidates for the contest - which will be the first electoral test for leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Jim McMahon, Labour leader of Oldham Council, and Chris Williamson, the former Derby North MP who lost his seat in May, are included, as are local councillor Mohammed Azam and former parliamentary candidate Jane East.

The UK Independence Party, which came second in the seat in May's general election ahead of the Conservatives, has called a press conference in Oldham on Tuesday, fuelling speculation that it will announce its candidate.

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