The Home Secretary spoke to voters in West Cumbria today as she put her backing behind the local Tory candidates.

Priti Patel joined Copeland's Conservative hopeful Trudy Harrison while canvassing around The Highlands estate in Whitehaven.

She then met Workington's Tory candidate Mark Jenkinson at Mitchell's livestock centre in Cockermouth, where she also met farmers who spoke to her about the challenges in their industry.

Ms Patel said she wanted Mrs Harrison to remain MP for the area.

She said: "I'm here to campaign for Trudy. I want her to remain as the member of parliament. She's been brilliant over the last few years so I want to see her back.

"We're here to make sure that happens. The message is incredibly clear - if you want a brilliant Conservative member of parliament, you've got to vote for Trudy.

"She's a tour de force and I think she's exactly what the constituency needs in Westminster. She's brought local issues to Westminster - she's been a complete champion. She's a strong voice for Copeland in Westminster and that's incredibly important."

In Cockermouth, Ms Patel discussed a number of issues with local farmers, including the challenges of Brexit for agriculture, the importance of farming, the impact of social media on the industry and technology.

Farmers spoke about the fears of a no-deal Brexit, the importance of highlighting the benefits of eating meat and the challenges the farming industry was facing.

Andrew Wright, head of land agency at Mitchell's, said: "It's always good to see prominent politicians coming to speak to the farming community, they have their policies and we put our point across.

"We want to see a steady agricultural policy going far beyond Brexit, it's important we don't just get a short term fix.

"A no-deal Brexit would not be a good position to be in for sheep farming for example."

When challenged about the difficulties of a no-deal Brexit for the farming community, Ms Patel said: "There's only one position: We have a deal."

She added it was important for democracy that the result of the referendum was respected and Brexit delivered.

Mrs Harrison said: "I think it's brilliant to invite all ministers up because we are so far away from Westminster. It's important people understand our challenges, particularly the infrastructure.

"Also for Priti to hear from people on the doorstep, how this community voted to leave and our votes are being ignored in parliament by the Labour party and the Liberal Democrats. Raising awareness of our needs in Copeland to the ministerial team is vital."

Mr Jenkinson said he was pleased to receive Ms Patel's visit as he shared her strong focus on law and order and increasing the strength of the police force.

When challenged about the Prime Minister's pledge to recruit 20,000 police officers, which is the same amount that was cut during the last Tory Governments, he said: "Actually Cumbria has more police officers now than in 2012, no police officer roles were cut during the two Conservative police and crime commissioner's terms.

"I accept that nationally the numbers have changed, but if you take into account long-term sickness at the beginning of the coalition Government, the actual numbers we're getting in Cumbria are all additional."

Ms Patel said: "When it comes to polling day, look at the ballot paper. The choice will be between Boris Johnston's Conservative party - a party that wants to get Brexit done - or Mr Corbyn, and quite frankly the shambolic proposals he's got for Brexit and our country."