EXCL Former Corbyn aide Matt Zarb-Cousin aiming to become an MP
A former top aide to Jeremy Corbyn has launched a bid to become an MP, PoliticsHome can reveal.
Matt Zarb-Cousin is exploring the possibility of becoming a Labour candidate as the party remains on an "election footing".
It is understood that he had hoped to get selected in his local constituency of Rochford and Southend East, but was blocked after the party decided it was drawing up an all-woman shortlist.
Another possibile seat is Thurrock, which Jackie Doyle-Price won for the Conservatives at the general election with a majority of just 345 over Labour's John Kent.
Mr Zarb-Cousin was the Labour leader's media spokesman for nine months before standing down in March.
He returned to his previous job as a spokesman for the Campaign for Fairer Gambling, and is a vocal supporter of Mr Corbyn on Twitter.
He is just the latest ally of the Labour leader to bid for a Commons seat.
David Prescott, son of former Deputy Prime Minister John and who is now a spokesman for the Labour leader, has made repeated attempts to become an MP.
And Sam Tarry, who was Mr Corbyn's director of strategy and communications when he defeated Owen Smith a year ago, was also unsuccessful when he tried to become a candidate in the run-up to the general election.