Polling stations open for local elections

There’s also a by-election happening in Blackpool South, where nine candidates are vying to be named the next MP, succeeding former Conservative Scott Benton.

He resigned from the Commons in March following the imposition of a suspension in the wake of a lobbying row.

Candidates aiming to replace Benton include Labour’s Chris Webb, the former deputy police and crime commissioner for Lancashire, and public relations businessman David Jones for the Conservatives.

Andrew Cregan is standing for the Liberal Democrats, Ben Thomas for the Green Party, and charity worker Mark Butcher for Reform UK.

Also standing are independent candidate Stephen Black, Damon Sharp of the New Open Non-Political Organised Leadership party, and Kim Knight from the Alliance for Freedom and Democracy.

Howling Laud Hope from the Official Monster Raving Loony Party completes the line-up of candidates.

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