A WHARFEDALE councillor is standing as a Parliamentary candidate in one of this General Election’s ‘bellwether’ seats.

Otley Town Councillor Ray Georgeson (Lib Dem, Danefield) has stepped in to replace a candidate in Bishop Auckland who had to withdraw for family reasons.

The County Durham constituency is being watched closely by political pundits as it is regarded as a ‘barometer’ for the rest of the North East.

Traditionally a Labour stronghold, at the 2017 election the Conservative Party came close to taking the seat, polling 20,306 votes compared to Labour’s 20,808, while the Liberal Democrats were in third place with 1,176. The other candidates that have been announced so far for Bishop Auckland are: Nick Brown for the Brexit Party, Dehenna Davison for the Conservative Party and Helen Goodman for Labour.