Labour's Tom Watson on campaign trail in Wakefield

Labour's deputy leader Tom Watson was on the campaign trail in Wakefield today following the launch of the party's election manifesto.

Tuesday, 16th May 2017, 4:56 pm
Updated Sunday, 4th June 2017, 9:40 pm

Mr Watson joined Mary Creagh - who is seeking re-election in the city for Labour - on the Portobello estate.

The party is up against a big Tory lead in national opinion polls ahead of the vote on June 8.

But Mr Watson said: “It’s early days. We have just launched our manifesto, which has got some really exciting policies.”

Mr Watson, who met party supporters on the estate this afternoon, said people around the country were realising that their incomes were suffering as a result of Conservative policies.

He said: “We want to give people the opportunities that have been taken away from them. People have been held back by this government.

“We just have to go out and earn every vote on the doorstep.”

Earlier today in Bradford, Jeremy Corbyn launched Labour’s manifesto, titled “For the many, not the few”.

Among the policies is £30bn in extra funding for the NHS, paid for with increased tax on top earners and private medical insurance.

Mr Watson praised the work of Mary Creagh on NHS issues as Wakefield’s Labour MP.

He said: “I genuinely believe that NHS services in this area would be worse if it wasn’t for the campaigns she’s led.”

Wakefield is seen as a constituency which could fall to the Conservatives after Ms Creagh won in the 2015 general election with a majority of 2,600.

Ms Creagh said: “It is clear the Tories are throwing everything at it.”

But voters were worried about local authority funding, redundancies in schools and NHS and social care cuts when asked on the doorstep, Ms Creagh said.

She added: “Every day we have got dozens of people phoning in the constituency and door knocking.

“We are hearing the difference a Labour MP makes to Wakefield.”