AROUND 20 women have put themselves forward as Labour's prospective parliamentary candidate for Lewisham Deptford at the next election, News Shopper understands.

Generally seen as one of Labour's safest seats, it is being vacated by long-term MP Joan Ruddock, who has comfortably won it for her party at every election since 1987.

The party said it would have an all-women shortlist and those who have applied for selection include Brockley's Councillor Vicky Foxcroft and Whitefoot's Councillor Janet Daby.

Lambeth councillor Florence Nosegbe - beaten by Heidi Alexander to be the Labour candidate in Lewisham East last time around - is also standing, along with Southwark's Councillor Catherine McDonald.

Other names include Paula Hirst, Emily Robinson and Mandy Richards.

A narrowed-down shortlist is due to be compiled at the end of this month with the final candidate decided on in May.