Welsh Labour has set out a timetable for the selection of its candidate for the Alyn and Deeside Assembly by-election.

The deadline for prospective candidates closes on Tuesday as the party moves to select a potential replacement for the late Carl Sargeant.

The by-election was called following the death of Mr Sargeant, 49, of Englefield Avenue, Connah’s Quay last month.

As reported in the Leader on Friday, Cllr Shelly Streeter, Alyn and Deeside constituency Labour Party secretary has vowed that local members would have the final say on selecting the candidate.

Cllr Bernie Attridge, deputy leader of Flintshire Council and Mr Sargeant’s lifelong friend, tweeted on Wednesday that he would resign from the party and stand in the election as an Independent if Welsh Labour “parachuted in” a candidate not chosen by the “grassroots” of Alyn and Deeside.

Cllr Andy Dunbobbin, Connah’s Quay Golftyn county councillor, who sits on Labour’s Welsh executive committee said it was “imperative to our constituency and membership that it’s a local candidate.”

In an email to Welsh Labour members, seen by the Leader, the party laments the “sad passing of our friend and colleague” Mr Sargeant.

The email states how the selection will be based on an “open shortlist” with a deadline for applications expiring midnight tomorrow.

Only members with 12 months continuous Labour Party membership will be considered and any candidates successfully long listed will need to be available for interview in North Wales on December 18 and 19.

The Assembly seat was declared vacant after Mr Sargeant, 49, who had occupied the position since 2003, was found dead at his home on November 7.

The married father-of-two was sacked as Welsh Government cabinet secretary for communities and children just four days earlier after allegations were made about his personal conduct.

He denied any wrongdoing and vowed to clear his name through a Labour Party inquiry into allegations, which has since been dropped.