Labour set sights on Carlisle as party confirms battleground seats


Stephen Twigg and Lee Sherriff campaigning outside Carlisle Train Station against the government’s “striver’s tax”. Tax and benefit changes voted through in parliament this week will result in over 3000 working families in Carlisle having increases to working-age benefits, including working tax credits, capped at 1% for the next three years. CARLISLE’s Labour parliamentary candidate Lee Sherriff received some heavyweight support on Thursday as the party confirmed the constituency’s status as one of its key targets at the next General Election. 

Stephen Twigg, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary joined Miss Sherriff and Labour supporters at Carlisle’s train station to campaign. Carlisle is one of 106 battleground seats across the country as the party aims at gaining a majority of 60 seats in the next parliament. 

Carlisle’s Conservative MP has a majority of 853 with Labour requiring a 1% swing to regain the seat. 

Lee Sherriff, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Carlisle said:

“I was absolutely delighted to welcome Stephen to Carlisle. He is the first of many senior figures I want to invite to our community to hear directly about the problems and challenges we face. 

“I’m also keen to show off our great city and the many fantastic organisations, businesses and people we have here. It was fitting that my first front-bench visits were to some of our great schools. As a mum, with children at various stages of the school system, I know how hard our local teachers are working despite the government’s funding cuts. Supporting our local schools will be a priority for me.

“The General Election is more than two years away. It probably seems to many people like a long way off but I will be campaigning week in, week out from now until polling day. I want to meet as many local people as possible to understand what they want from their Member of Parliament and how we can make Carlisle an ever better place to live.” 

Stephen Twigg MP, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary said: 

“I am hugely impressed by Lee. Seeing her in the schools, talking to local people, it’s clear she is a people person, which is what we need in parliament.

“I am confident if we do the work and campaign hard to get her elected, she will be a fine voice for Carlisle and a fantastic MP in the House of Commons after the next election.”

Tom Watson, Labour’s campaign co-ordinator said:

“The Party has published its list of battleground seats for the 2015 General Election.

"Ed Miliband is determined we are going to be a one term opposition returned with a working majority at the next general election.

"This is a challenge, but one we are all going to work hard to achieve.

"That’s why, today we have published a list of battleground seats.

"There are 106 of these seats, and the list is entirely offensive, which shows the scale of our ambition.

"Our aim is to have a 60 seat majority at the next General Election. 

"These seats are our path to that majority. 

"It is not a list of every seat we will target for the 2015 General Election, as we will review this list, taking into account opinion polls, elections results and campaign activity on the ground – but it is where we will start. 

"I want these seats to provide focus for the Party, a shared plan behind which we can unite. 

"Working together, campaigning as a One Nation Party we can deliver a One Nation Labour Government in 2015."

Stephen and Lee at Newtown school