THE Penrith and the Border Labour Party’s election campaign is now underway.

Members attended a ceremony in Penrith on Monday night.

The Labour Party and Cooperative Party’s candidate for the area, Sarah Williams, from Wigton, hosted the event and outlined her objectives.

The Cooperative Party has been affiliated to the Labour Party since 1927. Candidates are often fielded in the name of both parties who work together to achieve the same objectives.

In the last Government there were 32 Labour and Cooperative Party MP’s, but this is the first time that a candidate has stood under this shared banner in Penrith and the Border.

Sarah told her audience: “There are a whole range of important issues to discuss within this election campaign as a result of the Tory government woefully neglecting and running-down so many of the services that our constituents value and need.”

“We’ve seen real, genuine food and fuel poverty in Cumbria with the Tories savagely cutting investment in local services and social care.

“They’ve betrayed the electorate and presided over a system that means that hard working people have the indignity of having to go to the local food bank, like the one in my home town of Wigton, because of zero hours contracts and wage poverty.”

She added: “Johnson and Farage have obediently followed the instructions of Donald Trump to work together and I fear that the NHS is now in real danger of being forced to accept fund-sucking contracts with American drug companies.

“For a decade I have seen how Tory austerity cuts have demoralised and damaged our local health service in North Cumbria, slashing services and starving rural practices of GPs.

“I believe a disastrous Tory Brexit will devastate our local farming industry driving down animal welfare and food standards and destroying the quality of farming products so hard won by our dedicated farmers.

“We will tackle environmental issues in partnership with farmers - the true custodians of our countryside - to bring jobs and investment in green energy, tree planting to help prevent flooding and sustainable farming practices.”

n Other candidates standing for Penrith include: Neil Hudson (Cons), Matthew Severn (Lib Dem), Ali Ross (Green) and Jonathan Davis (Putting Cumbria First).