Lowestoft-based scientist Dr Gurpreet Padda is to contest the new cross-border seat of Waveney Valley in this year's general election.

Dr Padda has worked at the Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) laboratory in Lowestoft and in government.

She completed her PhD in Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia and is founder of Black Ocean Citizens, a non-profit aimed at connecting diverse and underrepresented communities to water-based and ocean sciences.

Speaking after her selection, Dr. Padda said: “I am delighted to be selected as Parliamentary candidate for Waveney Valley.

"Labour has a long term plan to get Britain’s future back and people in Waveney Valley deserve to have a strong voice at the heart of the next government.

"I will be campaigning to hold water companies polluting the River Waveney to account, building low carbon affordable new homes and supporting local families with childcare.”

Waveney Valley is the new seat incorporating villages and towns in north Suffolk including Eye, Halesworth, Bungay and Stowupland with part of South Norfolk including Diss and Harleston.

Suffolk County Council deputy leader Richard Rout is standing in the seat for the Conservatives and Green Party joint leader Adrian Ramsay is his party's candidate.

The seat is one of the Green Party's top targets in the country - that party is strongly represented by councillors on the Suffolk side.

Mr Ramsay has been in place for some time and is developing a high profile in the seat.

However Labour is stronger in South Norfolk - and most pollsters see that party as the likely main challenger to the Tories in the general election.

But it is expected to be one of the safer Tory seats in the region - although some opinion polls have suggested it could be vulnerable to a strong Labour surge.