Gillian Troughton has been selected as Labour's candidate to fight the upcoming Parliamentary by-election in Copeland.

Mrs Troughton, a Copeland borough and Cumbria county councillor, beat off competition from hospital campaigner Rachel Holliday and Allerdale councillor Barbara Cannon to be Labour's nomination in the race to succeed outgoing MP Jamie Reed.

Labour members made their selection in a behind-closed-doors vote in Egremont Market Hall on Thursday night.

Mrs Troughton, 51, of Moresby Parks, was an active Remain campaigner in last year's EU referendum.

Speaking after the meeting, she said: “It is an honour to have been selected as the Labour candidate for this crucial by-election in my home seat.

"This is my home. I have been part of the campaign against the proposed cuts to A&E and the maternity wing because I know that our community needs this service.

"This is where my family make their living. My husband works in the nuclear supply chain, so I know how important the industry is to thousands of Cumbrians.

"I’m pro-nuclear; no ifs, no buts. Moorside is a fantastic opportunity. I’ll make sure our community gets what it deserves.

"This is where I raised my children. Copeland has given them so many opportunities."

She was elected to Copeland Council in 2011, holding the finance portfolio on its executive committee for four years, and won her seat on Cumbria County Council, representing Howgate, in October 2015.

Mr Reed will step down at the end of January for a job at Sellafield.

He tweeted his congratulations to Mrs Troughton.

However, Labour – as the party that currently holds the seat and is likely to move the writ that triggers the by-election – has suggested that May 4 may be its preferred date.

The Conservatives, while campaigning locally, have yet to formally launch their selection process, adding that it will begin once Mr Reed’s resignation takes effect.

The Liberal Democrats will field former maths teacher Rebecca Hanson, a Cockermouth town councillor, who has been an outspoken opponent of the Success Regime’s plans to overhaul NHS services in West Cumbria.

UKIP’s West Cumbrian branch has selected Fiona Mills as its candidate. Ms Mills, chairman of UKIP Cumbria who stood for the Carlisle seat in the 2015 election, must now have her selection ratified by the party’s national executive committee.

And the Green Party has confirmed that it will field a candidate on “an anti-nuclear and anti-poverty campaign”, and will make a selection on January 24. Allan Todd, who stood for Copeland in the 2015 General Election, has confirmed that he is not in the running.