THE Labour parliamentary candidates who will contest the Southampton seats in the forthcoming general election have been announced.

Current Southampton Test MP Alan Whitehead has confirmed he will stand again in the general election on December 12 while former Southampton City Council leader Simon Letts will make a return in a bid to win the Southampton Itchen seat after he lost it to Royston Smith MP by 31 votes in 2017.

Meanwhile, it is understood that the Labour candidate for Romsey and Southampton North is yet to be selected.

It comes as on Tuesday MPs backed Boris Johnson’s call for an election following months of Brexit deadlock.

Mr Whitehead, who has been the MP for Southampton Test since 1997, said if re-elected he will continue to “work hard” for the city.

“I promise to continue to work hard for our city and our country, fight for decent housing for all and against cuts to our schools and continue to work on solutions to the climate crisis,” he added.

More council homes for the residents of Southampton is also among the pledges made by Mr Letts.

He said 4,000 new homes will the Southampton’s share of the one million homes the Labour party pledged to build across the country. Mr Letts said that if elected he will also focus on ensuring more police presence in the city. He added: “I want to see a new base for the police with a front office and give the police a real base in the constituency because they currently have not got one.”

The Itchen seat is one of the most marginal Conservative seats in England.

“It’s really a fight between Labour and Conservatives. We are a strong challenge to the Conservatives and every vote is going to count but we have a chance,”Mr Letts added.

The former council leader, who served as a councillor in Southampton for 18 years before losing his seat in 2018, will stand against current Southampton Itchen MP Royston Smith who was first elected in 2015.

Meanwhile, Steven Galton , who currently is a city councillor for Millbrook ward, has been selected as the Conservative parliamentary candidate to contest the Southampton Test seat.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service asked the Labour party when its candidate for Romsey and Southampton North will be announced but they were unable to provide a comment before the paper went to press.