Jeremy Corbyn visits key seat of Pudsey on General Election campaign trail

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn visited Leeds today (Saturday) as he called for more funds for flood management.

Saturday, 9th November 2019, 5:06 pm
Updated Sunday, 10th November 2019, 10:23 am
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn during a visit to the Scrap Creative Reuse Arts Project in Farsley, while on the General Election campaign trail in Leeds. Picture: Nigel Roddis/PA Wire

Mr Corbyn visited Pudsey along with Shadow Cabinet member Angela Rayner as part of the campaign trail ahead of the December election.

It follows a visit from Secretary of State for health Matt Hancock to the constituency on Friday.

The seat is believed to be a key decider in the General Election, and has been Conservative under MP Stuart Andrew since 2010.

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Jeremy Corbyn and Pudsey Labour candidate Jane Aitchison at Horsforth Hall Park on Saturday. Picture: Jane Aitchison/Twitter

During his visit, Mr Corbyn spoke at a rally for Labour candidate for the seat Jane Aitchison at Horsforth Hall Park, as well as visiting the SCRAP play centre at Sunny Bank Mills in Farsley.

Ms Aitchison was criticised by Conservative Matt Hancock on Thursday following an interview with BBC Radio Five Live, in which she was asked about comments made by fellow candidate Zara Sultana that she would 'celebrate the death of Tony Blair'.

The Pudsey candidate told journalist Emma Barnett in an interview: "Sometimes people say things that are very passionate, and they say things that are wrong. But I don't think that what she's saying there is necessarily worse than looking down on the people of Grenfell who died in a fire."

Ms Aitchison condemned the comments, although was criticised by many for giving a 12 second pause after being asked if she thought Ms Sultana should stand.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner (left) during a visit to the Scrap Creative Reuse Arts Project in Farsley, while on the General Election campaign trail in Leeds. Picture: Nigel Roddis/PA Wire

During his visit to Leeds, Mr Corbyn said better upstream river management and flood defences were needed in areas at risk.

It follows wide scale flooding in parts of South Yorkshire and Derbyshire this week, in which one woman died after being swept away by floodwaters.

The Labour leader said: "Obviously we need much better flood management and prevention schemes," he said.

"It also means properly funding our fire and rescue services and properly funding our Environment Agency to deal with this.

"The Environment Agency has lost a fifth of its staff, the fire services have lost more than a fifth of their staff. They're struggling to cope with this."

The Labour leader added that the UK could expect more extreme weather due to climate change.

Mr Corbyn also visited Conisborough in Doncaster today, which was badly hit by flooding, off the back of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's visit to Matlock on Friday.