TRAFFORD Council leader Andrew Western has announced a bid to become the Labour Party's candidate for Stretford and Urmston at the next general election.

Cllr Western, who has led the borough's Labour Group since 2014 and the council since 2018, made the announcement with a post on social media on Wednesday.

The opening is a result of Kate Green's decision to step down as an MP at the next general election, which is set for 2024 but might be called earlier.

Also in the running to replace Ms Green and attempt to retain her seat is Joanne Harding, Trafford Council's executive member for adult social care.

Messenger Newspapers: Joanne HardingJoanne Harding

And news website LabourList believes the Salford-born deputy leader of Oxford Council, Tom Hayes, is to announce a bid of his own this weekend.

Cllr Western has significant experience on a national level, as he challenged Sir Graham Brady for Altrincham and Sale West at the last two elections.

He returned a respectable 38.8 per cent then 36.8 per cent of the vote, but was still beaten by Sir Graham both times.

The council leader's website reads: "[Stretford and Urmston] is the constituency I call home, in the borough I am so privileged to lead and I’ve lived in all my life.

"I’ve put myself forward for selection because I believe I have the Labour values and the political experience needed to be our next Labour candidate."

In a video which stressed her work across health, social care and women's rights, Cllr Harding said: "I have always been a strong voice for Stretford and Urmston.

"I have never been afraid to take difficult decisions or to stand up for what I believe in."

READ MORE: Conservative leader loses seat on disastrous day for Trafford's Tories.

In the past, the Labour Party used all-women shortlists to replace women who stepped down as MPs in an attempt to improve representation in Parliament.

But the bid by Cllr Western supports HuffPost UK's suggestion the practice has been dropped in light of legal advice.

There is a little over a week for aspiring candidates for Stretford and Urmston to submit their applications, before longlisting and shortlisting over the next month.

Members are expected to choose their candidate on June 26.