GRASSROOTS members of the Labour Party in Swindon will not get a say in who represents them in June's General Election.

An email sent to constituency Labour parties, seen by the Adver, says that due to the tight seven week timescale the decision on candidates will be taken by regional and national panels instead of local people.

The message from Labour HQ said: "It is with the greatest regret that local party members will not be able to select parliamentary candidates.

"This process is necessary and it is only due to the exceptional snap General Election circumstances and will not set any precedent for future elections.

"It will be simply impossible to hold trigger ballots, selection hustings and meetings in the 631 parliamentary constituencies in the given timescale, especially at a time when members are out campaigning in the local and general elections.

"As with standard election campaign procedures, meetings at all CLP meetings have now been suspended for the duration of the local and general election period except for campaign planning purposes."

The party has now set out a timeline for candidate selection, but it could be almost two weeks before we know for sure who will be standing in Swindon's two seats.

With both the town's Conservative incumbents defending healthy majorities, losing two out of seven available weeks to introduce a candidate to the electorate could be costly for Labour.

The deadline for prospective candidates will be this Sunday, April 24.

But the party's National Executive Committee and Regional Board panels wil not meet to appoint candidates in most seats until the end of the following week.

Labour HQ hopes to have all candidates in place by May 2.

The letter does make it more likely that the party's candidate for North Swindon in 2015, Mark Dempsey, will contest the seat in June.

It outlines that "candidates who stood in the 2015 election, and who remain in compliance and eligible to be a candidate, will be contacted by Regional Offices asking that they seek selection again in those same seats".

With Mr Dempsey calling it "an honour" to be a candidate and refusing to rule out standing again, it now appears more likely that voters in North Swindon will see a re-run of the 2015 election.

In South Swindon, former Labour MP Anne Snelgrove - who lost out to Robert Buckland in 2010 and 2015 - has confirmed she does not intend to stand again.