THE Labour hopefuls who were vying to become the new MP for Southend West and Leigh have thrown their support behind the party's candidate despite being "disappointed".

David Burton-Sampson has been selected as Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Southend West and Leigh, the party announced on Friday.

An active member of the Labour Party, David is a school governor, former Basildon councillor, and ex-Basildon mayor.

He says he is keen to champion and support those suffering from the housing crisis, long NHS waiting lists, and the explosive rise in the cost of living.

Echo: Hopeful - David Burton-Sampson is the Labour candidate for Southend West and LeighHopeful - David Burton-Sampson is the Labour candidate for Southend West and Leigh (Image: Labour)

David said: “I’m delighted to be chosen to stand for Labour in Southend West and Leigh. I have lived in Essex since 1999 and I adore being part of the vibrant Southend coastal community.

“I also, however, see the challenges faced by the local community after 14 years of a disastrous Tory government.

“I am passionate about making a difference to people’s lives and I commit now to fight for the residents of Southend and Leigh, ensuring they have the opportunities to access the services and support they need to live a healthier, happier, and fairer life.”

“I will give voice to the hard-working people of this community and fight to make sure that jobs and opportunities are brought back to Southend West and Leigh,” he added.

Former Southend councillor Aston Line had previously said he was confident of securing a historical win for Labour in Southend West and Leigh if he was selected.

In a statement on Friday, he said he was “obviously deeply disappointed to not have been chosen as Labour’s candidate”.

“Standing for parliament in 2019 was the greatest honour of my life, and it would have been a privilege to represent my party once again,” he said.

“I know [David] will give his all for the people of Southend West and Leigh through this campaign and he will make an excellent member of parliament.”

St Laurence ward councillor Lydia Hyde had also thrown her hat in the ring and said: “Whilst I’m disappointed it’s not my time yet, I’ll be working hard to support David to win for Labour here in Southend West and Leigh.”