THE Liberal Democrats have picked a social worker to challenge Labour MP Dari Taylor for the Stockton South seat at the next general election.

The party selected Jacquie Bell as their prospective parliamentary candidate at a meeting at the weekend.

Mrs Bell, who is from Sheffield, has previously challenged William Hague for the Richmond constituency.

She said of the Stockton South seat: With the decline in Labour fortunes, the Conservatives are hoping to win it back, but the Lib Dems have excellent policies on education, health, pensions and more.

Mrs Taylor ousted Conservative MP Tim Devlin in May 1997 and was re-elected in 2001 and again in 2005.