LABOUR high-flyer Mark Dempsey has been selected to take on Justin Tomlinson at the next general election as the party’s prospective Parliamen-tary candidate for Swindon North.

Coun Dempsey (Lab, Walcot and Park North), who is also the Labour group’s deputy leader at Swindon Council, was chosen from a shortlist of four candidates at a vote of North Swindon Labour Party members.

The 35-year-old, who lives with his wife Amanda in St Andrew’s Ridge, said he would focus his campaign on a better town centre regeneration, a stronger economy and more jobs, and a better future for young people, particularly a university for Swindon.

The other candidates were Jon Wheale, a former soldier living in Surrey, Peter Baldrey, a teacher in Wiltshire, and Chris Summers, a councillor in Ealing, West London.

Coun Dempsey said: “I would like to thank the North Swindon Labour Party for selecting me as their candidate to fight this important constituency at the next general election.

“I will work tirelessly to show that this coalition Government offers no solutions to the problems that the people of North Swindon experience in their everyday lives.

“Our current Tory MP has let people down and North Swindon deserves better. I will offer a clear vision for the future of this town – jobs to rebuild the local economy, the regeneration of our town centre, and building towards a University for Swindon.

“I will campaign on that vision alongside my Labour Party colleagues and the wider community to win this seat back for Labour at the next general election, to provide the people of North Swindon with an MP they can be proud of.”

Labour held the Swindon North constituency under Michael Wills from its creation in 1997 to 2010, when Conservative Justin Tomlinson beat Labour’s candidate, Victor Agarwal by 22,408 votes to 15,348.

Coun Dempsey, a European environmental policy advisor for Hewlett Packard, moved to Swindon in October 2006, and will contest the next general election in 2015 alongside Anne Snelgrove, Labour’s candidate for Swindon South.

Phil Gaskin, Labour Party South West regional director, said: “While we take nothing for granted, we believe that Labour can win North Swindon at the next general election, and we know that local voters are entirely disillusioned with their current MP.

“Mark lives in North Swindon, knows the constituency like the back of his hand, and will work with local people to deliver a better deal for North Swindon.”

Justin Tomlinson said: “I very much hope that Mark will plan to focus on a positive and constructive campaign and avoid the typical personal and nasty attacks that he’s so well known for. I’m focused on making sure I do my very best job for my fellow local residents and we will all see what 2015 will bring.”

Coun Dempsey, responding, said: “I think people would say I’m someone who’s an optimist who wants to set out a clear vision for the future of Swindon.

“I think that characterises me and I think we need to be basing selection on who has got the vision and who understands the challenges of Swindon, that’s the substance and that’s the kind of person I want to be.”