Paul Nuttall will stand in Stoke Central, Ukip sources reveal
The 40-year-old Bootle born MEP has only been the leader of his party since November 28 but is already itching to get himself into the House of Commons, according to those close to him.
Mr Nuttall is seeking to take control of what was Tristram Hunt's seat – the former Labour MP has departed to become director of the Victoria and Albert Museum.
The by-election will take place on February 23 and could be a key turning point for Mr Nuttall's political career as he seeks to step out of Nigel Farage's considerable shadow.
The Stoke seat is not an easy constituency for Mr Nuttall to win as Mr Hunt departed with a majority of 5,500 to his name.
Mr Nuttall will be selected at a meeting taking place this evening, having nominated himself for the role, sources say.
Mr Nuttall is hoping to step out of Nigel Farage's shadow
The final decision will be up to Ukip's national executive.
Mr Nuttall, who has been the MEP for the North West of England since 2009, will go up against a Labour candidate driven by campaign manager Jack Dromy, who is married to Harriet Harman.
Labour reportedly called the by-election for February as a deliberate ploy to undermine Mr Nuttall and give him less time to establish himself within the constituency.
UKIP MEP Paul Nuttall visits the Roma ghetto in Sofia
Sun, February 10, 2013
Fakulteta district of Sofia, Bulgaria where 55,000 Bulgarian romas live in exteme poverty
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Roma children lie in squalor as they cry for food
Ukip narrowly beat the Conservatives at the last Stoke Central election when Mick Harold beat Liam Marshall Ascough by just 33 votes.
Mr Nuttall is not immediately available for comment.