A campaign group is calling on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to publicly oppose nuclear new-build plans in west Cumbria.

Radiation Free Lakeland (RFL) has written to Mr Corbyn to urge him to lodge his “firm and outspoken” opposition to plans for a three-reactor station at Moorside, on land next to Sellafield.

By doing so, adds RFL, Mr Corbyn would “galvanise and inspire nuclear opponents, and give them a compelling reason to vote Labour”.

RFL’s letter comes in the week that Mr Corbyn – who has been described as “anti-nuclear” by opponents – has twice visited Copeland ahead of a hotly-anticipated Parliamentary by-election to replace Jamie Reed.

At a public rally held in Cleator Moor on Saturday, he was joined by Labour candidate Gillian Troughton who dismissed the perception of Labour as anti-nuclear.

She added: “My position on nuclear is clear. The party’s position on nuclear is clear. I support Sellafield and Moorside; no ifs, no buts.”

In her letter to Mr Corbyn, RFL’s Marianne Birkby points to safety concerns about the design of the AP1000 reactors proposed for Moorside, and the “intolerable nuclear burden” already faced locally.

She also draws his attention to a petition – Stop Moorside: the biggest nuclear development in Europe – that has attracted over 11,000 signatures.

She said: “We oppose Moorside and feel that you may be underestimating the strength of feeling against the plans.

Jeremy Corbyn “When you appeared on The Andrew Marr Show last weekend, you missed the chance to condemn the project.

“Please set aside the siren voices that are working hard to convince you that outright opposition to Moorside would be a vote-loser.

“Instead, listen to the voices of resistance, which include many Labour voters previously encouraged by your rational, well-informed spepticism of the nuclear industry and its taxpayer-funded spin doctors.”

NuGen, the firm behind plans for Moorside, is currently analysing feedback from last summer’s public consultation into the plant.

The firm hopes to get the final go ahead in 2018.