Tom Rutland has been selected as Labour’s candidate for East Worthing and Shoreham for the next general election.

In a hustings meeting of party members, Mr Rutland, a councillor for Streatham Common and Oxford graduate, was chosen to represent the party in the seat - a target for Labour at the next general election.

East Worthing and Shoreham is currently represented by Conservative MP Tim Loughton, who was first elected in 1997.

Should he win the next election, Mr Rutland would be the first Labour MP to be elected in Worthing.

Mr Rutland announced his selection on social media and said: “Thank you so much to Labour members for selecting me as your candidate for the next general election.

“Together we will run a campaign that elects the first ever Labour MP here in East Worthing and Shoreham. It’s time for change.”

Tom Rutland was one of four candidates vying to be selected, with Scott Gilfillian, Christine Bayliss and Abdi Mohamed also running to become the party’s representative in the constituency.

The selection process was embroiled in controversy earlier this month after two local councillors were prevented from running to be the party’s candidate.

Deputy council leader for Worthing Borough Council Carl Walker and Shoreham councillor Cat Arnold were both not included in the shortlist of candidates, with some party activists expressing anger at the decision.

Mr Rutland’s selection comes after Beccy Cooper, leader of Worthing Borough Council, was selected unanimously to represent Labour in the neighbouring constituency of Worthing West.

She will compete against Sir Peter Bottomley, the current Father of the House of Commons, at the next election - expected to take place some time next year.

Current polling suggests that Labour will win both Worthing constituencies at the election, with forecasts expecting a substantial Labour victory in East Worthing and Shoreham.