The Labour Party’s battle bus visited West Cumbria today to show support for two of its candidates.

Party chairman Ian Lavery joined the campaign trails of Copeland candidate, Tony Lywood and Workington’s Sue Hayman.

Mr Lavery addressed supporters at the P&R Club in Greenbank, Whitehaven, before making his way to Workington railway station to speak to campaigners there, as part of a tour of the region.

Speaking in Whitehaven, he said: “We are going to win this election and Tony will be the next member of parliament for Copeland. While we’ve been travelling, we’ve met some fantastic people and everybody’s very optimistic and upbeat about winning this election. We are closing the gaps in the polls and what we’re saying is resonating.”

Mr Lavery urged campaigners to continue in their attempts to persuade undecided voters to choose Labour.

He said: “One of the massive challenges we’ve got is to explain to people on the doorstep that still say they are undecided about who they will be supporting. This is a unique election. People in this constituency are desperate for real change, which the Labour Party will bring.”

The party chairman said he was confident that Copeland could be turned red again.

“I’m really confident here in Copeland. The majority is only just under 2,000 and we held the seat for quite some time. This is a red area and I’m convinced that people are listening to what we’ve got to offer. We’re different to everybody else. We’ll transform the lives of people in this constituency.

“We’ve got a great team here and a great parliamentary candidate in Tony Lywood. I love coming here, I’ve been here lots of times. I’ve got a great rapport with many people in this fantastic region.”

Mr Lavery also said the party understood what the nuclear industry meant to people in the constituency.

“The nuclear industry has sustained the area for generations and it’s produced excellent, well-paid unionised jobs. It’s produced top quality jobs and apprenticeships through the years. We are terribly keen to continue in that process.”

Mr Lywood said: “It’s great to see Ian here. Labour’s message of hope needs to be heard. The cuts to the NHS, schools, social care and the police have been deep.

“We need a government that invests in public services and industry in equal measure and an MP who doesn’t just vote for more austerity in Westminster.”

In Workington, Mr Lavery said: “I can understand why people voted to leave the EU 17.4 million voted to leave and we understand their views but we cannot possibly agree to leave the EU without a deal.

“We want to negotiate a deal and put it back in the hands of the people and let the people decide but we do understand why people feel a little upset for the deal not being crafted and delivered by now. The Tories have had three and a half years to strike a deal, it’s chaos created in Downing Street and we’re trying to pick up the pieces and be fair to everybody.

“There are a lot of Labour policies which will transform this area, a real living wage for people, getting rid of zero hours contracts, changing working conditions and the NHS – the real threat of Donald Trump and Boris Johnston agreeing a deal to basically sell off the NHS and we cannot afford for that to happen. People in this region deserve better we will support the NHS and we will put more money in their pockets.”