LABOUR are banking on former journalist Ken Skates holding onto the Clwyd South seat in next year’s Welsh Assembly elections.

Mr Skates, who is also a community councillor in Pantymwyn in Flintshire and is a political researcher for Alyn Deeside MP Mark Tami, previously topped the North Wales regional list for Welsh Labour in the 2007 elections.

He said of his selection: “I am honoured to have been chosen by Labour members to represent the party next year.

“I was born in the area, grew up here and passionately believe in the potential of our communities here.

“The campaign ahead must instil hope and represent the aspirations of local people set against the backdrop of the ruthless cuts by the Tories and Lib Dems.

“Labour will offer an alternative vision in Wales, a positive one based on self-belief.”

Clwyd South AM Karen Sinclair, who is stepping down from the post, said: “I’m delighted our local party has chosen someone of such ability to fight the seat for Labour.

“As someone who understands the needs of North East Wales, I know he will be a fine Assembly Member for every community in Clwyd South.

“His determination, energy and drive will make him a stanch advocate for our area and help translate our Labour values into practical benefits for local people.

“I’m looking forward to helping him win the election and securing a majority for Labour in May.”

- Clwyd South AM result 2007: Karen Sinclair (Lab) 6,838, John Bell (Con) 5,719, Nia Davies (Plaid Cymru) 3,894, Frank Biggs (Lib Dem) 1,838.