Party leaders hit North West as election enters last week

Keir Starmer campaigning in Macclesfield

The leaders of Labour and the Liberal Democrats were both campaigning in the North West yesterday as the General Election campaign entered its final week.

Keir Starmer showed his ambition for Labour’s increasingly confident campaign by meeting with candidates and campaigners in the previously Conservative held seat of Macclesfield, currently held by David Rutley.

He visited The Vale Inn on Adlington Road in Bollington which is owned by the Bollington Brewing Company.

One of the big issues in the constituency is housebuilding and building on the green belt.

Labour candidate Tim Roca said: “We are very lucky here in Macclesfield that we have more brownfield sites than any other part of the Cheshire East borough area, and of course the Town Council released its strategy, which it hopes to work with Cheshire East Council on. And there is a lot of town centre living opportunities for us.”

Starmer also met with candidates from nearby seats of Tatton, Cheadle and Hazel Grove, in a sign that the party expects to win seats in places it never expected to previously.

Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey also spent his time in the region with candidate Lisa Smart, who was this week caught on a doorbell camera asking a visiting Liverpool-resident if she was in the area “knicking stuff”.

The Lytham-born candidate, who has failed three-times to win the seat, has previously criticised the Conservatives choice of candidate, Liverpool-born Paul Athans, as an “insult” to the people of Hazel Grove.

Claire Vibert with Keir Starmer in Bollington

Labour’s candidate in the seat, Claire Vibert said: “Quite appalling to hear this casual slur about Liverpudlians from the Hazel Grove Lib Dem candidate, particularly when one of our fellow candidates on 4th July is from Liverpool.”

Davey said: “I think she was telling a very bad joke. It was really a bad joke.

“She’s apologised for it. People make mistakes. If they apologise and realise they’ve made a mistake, I think people should accept that.”