Lambeth’s Assembly Member and council leader have thrown their names into the hat to stand for the Croydon North by-election.

The by-election comes after the death of MP Malcolm Wicks, 65, who had served the constituency, a safe Labour seat, since 1997.

Lambeth and Southwark Assembly Member Val Shawcross and council leader Councillor Steve Reed have both applied to stand as the Labour candidate.

Ms Shawcross said: "I would really like to use some of the experience that I have gained on a regional level to do some work for a London community on a national level."

Ms Shawcross, who lives in Upper Norwood, said she felt she would like to go for the seat because of a strong connection to the area.

She said: "It’s a seat where I am deeply connected with the community.

"I really feel that Croydon North is in need of some very strong advocacy."

Ms Shawcross was a Croydon councillor between 1994 and 2000, serving as council leader in 1997 to 2000.

Ms Shawcross said that if voted in she would resign from the London Assembly but believes it would be possible do both roles for a short transition period.

She said: "You should only have one job in political life, I think."

But she added: "That is all very theoretical.

"I have really loved serving Lambeth and Southwark on the London Assembly and I have done that now for 12 years."

Councillor Steve Reed said: "I have applied, but I can’t say too much because there’s not a shortlist yet."

Alan Olive, regional director of the London Labour Party, said nominations closed at noon yesterday and the shortlist would be decided on Wednesday.

On Monday Mr Olive said: "I genuinely don’t know who applied. It could be quite a long list."

Labour Party members in Croydon North will vote on November 3 to select the Labour candidate to stand for the by-election.