KEIGHLEY MP John Grogan has been chosen to defend his seat in the forthcoming General Election.

All six branches of the Labour Party in the Keighley and Ilkley constituency have backed him as the party's candidate in the December vote.

Mr Grogan said that historically Keighley had always been a close-run contest between Labour and the Conservatives.

He said: "Five times since the war the winning majority has been closer than a thousand votes. When I first knocked on doors for the Labour Party in Keighley in 1979 Bob Cryer won the seat for Labour by just 78 votes."

Mr Grogan said his immediate local priorities if re-elected would include reversing the Government’s decision to turn down Airedale Hospital‘s bid for a replacement ward block, continuing to oppose the proposed incinerator in Keighley, and finding and obtaining the finance for a crossing over the main road between Silsden and the Silsden-Steeton railway station.

Adrian Farley, chairman of Keighley Labour Party, said John had been a hard-working MP who was always accessible and approachable.

He said: "He has delivered on promises like bringing back the police station into Keighley town centre from 2021. We need to keep him working for local people."

Mr Grogan will launch his campaign on Friday evening at a meeting at Cougar Park, home of rugby league club Keighley Cougars.

Cougars chairman Mick 0’Neill, who is supporting Mr Grogan's candidature, said: "When Keighley Cougars needed help and were on the brink of extinction John Grogan was there to help us out. He is the man for Keighley."