Labour party put forward their candidate for by-election

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Gareth Snell, a Newcastle borough councillor for Silverdale and Parkside, tweeted a four line poem condemning Britain's vote to leave the European Union - despite being selected by Labour to stand for election in a constituency where nearly 70 per cent of voters opted for Brexit.

The Opposition are facing an uphill battle to keep both seats, with Ukip pouring resources into Stoke and the Tories only finishing narrowly behind Labour in 2015 in Copeland. And this time, it's the by-election in Stoke-on-Trent that's getting Labour supporters hot under the collar and UKIP members excited.

"I'm proud to come from the Potteries and even prouder to be standing to represent our home in Parliament".

"Labour has always stood up for local people here in Stoke-on-Trent, whether it's building our first new hospital in 100 years or defending our vital children's centres", he said.

He added: "The Tories haven't done anything for our city and now they're trying to sell of £1.2 billion of cancer and end-of-life care in North Staffordshire". And Ukip's plans for our NHS are clear - sell it all off to the highest bidder.

The Tories have selected 25-year-old councillor Jack Brereton to stand in Stoke Central.

By-elections can be boring, but they can also be a litmus test for the popularity of a party at a time when the rest of the country isn't going to the polls. "It is an opportunity for the people of Stoke to send a message that the referendum result must be respected, and to back the Prime Minister's clear plan to make a success of Brexit".

In Copeland, mother-of-four Ms Harrison will attempt to snatch the seat from Labour after Jamie Reed quit to take up a position at the Sellafield nuclear power plant.

Ms Harrison said she would be highlighting how a Tory vote would "support... the local nuclear industry", and also drew a contrast to Labour's stance on the European Union referendum.

"Copeland has had Labour MPs and Labour councils for years", she said.