Shropshire Star

North Shropshire by-election: Labour's deputy leader in town to support candidate

Labour's deputy leader Angela Rayner made a whistle stop visit to North Shropshire, stressing the party was determined to win Thursday's by-election to help both the constituency and the country as a whole.

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Angela Rayner with Labour candidate for the North Shropshire by-election Ben Wood at the Bull's Head pub in Whitchurch

The MP for Ashton-under-Lyne spent time chatting to voters in Whitchurch and meeting some of the local members who have been on the campaign trail with the Labour parliamentary candidate Ben Wood.

Labour was fighting for every vote on Thursday Ms Rayner said and stressed that there had never been behind the scenes agreement not to campaign or a 'Lib/Lab' pact.

She launched a scathing attack on the Prime Minister, the 'Party Gate' scandal and Boris Johnson's failure to act quickly enough to stem the Covid Omnicron variant.

"What happened last Christmas at Number 10 was outrageous. Labour stuck to the rules as did the public," she said.

The deputy Labour leader posed for selfies with supporters

"The people of North Shropshire are sick of being taken for granted. North Shropshire has to send a clear message to Boris Johnson and vote in a good, local candidate."

Ms Rayner said Labour wanted to win the by-election for the good of the constituency and for the good of the country.

"People here are sick of seeing a decline in services particularly in rural areas such as North Shropshire. They are fed up of seeing poor transport links, cuts in bus routes and seeing their roads in a mess. They want to see change," she said.

"They want to see good education to give people the skills to get good jobs in their local area.

Angela Rayner visits Whitchurch to support Ben Wood's by-election campaign

"Ben is a local lad, he grew up here and went to school here and he knows the problems the area faces. Everyone is sick of the Goverment's 'jam tomorrow' disaster politics.

"This has been a traditional Conservative seat. We need every single vote to send a clear message to Boris Johnson that it is not acceptable the way he is taking the public for fools."

Picking up on the transport issue, Mr Wood said the Conservative candidate had pledged to campaign to dual the A5.

"The former MP, Owen Paterson, asked Parliament in 1998 what plans were were to improved the A5 calling for it to become a dual carriageway," Mr Wood said.

"Yet 23 years on and nothing at all has been done. Nothing will be done again."

As she left for a Commons vote on the Plan B Covid measures Ms Rayner said: "If Ben wins this election then our leader, Keir, will be here on Friday to congratulate him."