The Liberal Democrats cranked up their by-election campaign for Copeland as leader Tim Farron joined parliamentary hopeful Rebecca Hanson.

The pair met members of Keswick Flood Action Group at Thirlmere Dam to hear about their plans to reduce the risk of flooding in the area before heading into Keswick to campaign in the town centre.

Mr Farron said he was shocked to discover from speaking to the group that the immediate action of agreeing a flood action plan in Kendal after Storm Desmond had not also happened in Keswick.

He added: "The political classes had not acted with the same kind of energy that we in Kendal had frankly, and that's despite the fact the flood action group here is outstanding.

"Part of the solution is to manage water levels in Thirlmere sensibly.

"We think it's a £1million investment and it's very clear this is what everybody wants."

Mr Farron and said both he and Mrs Hanson would write to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to raise the flood action group's concerns.

The Westmorland and Lonsdale MP believes that Mrs Hanson is an "astonishingly good" candidate for Copeland.

He said: "Her track record for campaigning on health service issues is known across the constituency and is known for being utterly authentic.

"This is not someone who is jumping on the bandwagon.

"What you get in Rebecca is someone who fights the corner of all the Copeland communities and makes clear that they may be beautiful places but they are also tough places where there is real need.

"We are also the only party fighting against a hard Brexit and the move out of the single market that wasn't on the ballot paper.

"The majority of British people wanted to be in the single market so to do that without consulting them is just wrong."

Mrs Hanson expects the campaign to ramp up over the weekend ahead of the by-election next Thursday.

She said: "I've loved every single second of it so far.

"I love building democracy, communicating with people and coming to people who are feeling disillusioned at politics and democracy because when I talk to people all that melts away.

"The quality of the flood action group's conclusions are brilliant and there's so much I could do as MP.

"I can help people understand the issues and convince the Westminster community that legislation needs to be changed.

"We can certainly win this."