Saturday, September 3

The next by-election

The Livingston by-election, in Scotland, caused by the death of The Rt Hon Robin Cook will take place on 29 September.

With parliament currently in recess, the move was set to be signalled in the London Gazette on Friday, while the writ will formally be moved next week. The contest was prompted by last month's death of the former foreign secretary, who suffered a heart attack while hill walking in Scotland.

Cook held the seat on 5 May with a majority of 13,097 over the SNP. The Scottish nationalists are fielding their general election candidate, Angela Constance, in the by-election. Labour, meanwhile, will be expecting its candidate, Jim Devine, to hold the seat. Devine, who was Cook's election agent, can expect a boost from Labour's annual conference in Brighton which concludes on the day of the by-election.

Charles Dundas is standing as the Liberal Democrat candidate. Party leader Charles Kennedy was in the constituency on Thursday launching the campaign. The Scottish Socialist Party has selected Steven Nimmo, its regional organiser for the Lothians, as its candidate.

Former biology teacher David Robertson, 46, will become the Greens' first candidate in Livingston for a Westminster election.

The UK Independence Party will be fighting the seat but have not yet anounced the name of their candidate.

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