Politics

West Kirby stages Labour’s biggest election rally of the campaign

By Emma Gunby at

With additional reporting from Feargal Brennan and James Jackson.

An estimated 2000-strong crowd turned out in West Kirby today to see Jeremy Corbyn’s biggest rally of the Labour Party’s election campaign so far.

The Labour leader took to the stage in front of his battle bus alongside the Wirral West Labour candidate, Margaret Greenwood, Liverpool City Region Mayor, Steve Rotheram and a Wirral West Labour Party youth officer.

He warned the crowds to be careful of the incoming tide and joked about West Kirby beating Leeds to the biggest crowd of his campaign so far.

The crowd at Jeremy Corbyn rally

The crowd at Jeremy Corbyn rally

As well a reiterating his national policies, he also backed Margaret Greenwood’s campaign to stop controversial Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) on the Dee Estuary.

He said: “Margaret has been absolutely brilliant as the member of parliament speaking up for the people of all the communities and on the environment and the health service.

“What she has said about under sea fracking, that means protecting wonderful places like this.”

Wirral West Labour candidate Margaret Greenwood said: “We’ve got a really strong campaign here, but the campaigners will love to see Jeremy and it will make a difference (to the Labour campaign in Wirral West), I’m absolutely certain.”

Wirral West is set to be a key battleground for the Labour Party, which is keen to retain the seat they won two years ago.

Jeremy Corbyn at West Kirby rally

Jeremy Corbyn at West Kirby rally

Ms Greenwood was voted in as Wirral West MP following the 2015 General Election, defeating the Conservative candidate Esther McVey by a narrow margin of 45.2% to 44.2% .

The Labour Party manifesto has included a detailed range of policies relating to education, pensions and the NHS but the main focus of their local campaign, here in West Kirby, is a renewed commitment to prevent fracking in the Dee Estuary.

Signs in the crowd

The licence, held by Cluff Natural Resources Plc, for UCG in the Dee Estuary is due to expire in January next year and Margaret Greenwood has campaigned against its renewal.

The seat will be strongly contested ahead of the General Election on June 8th, with the Conservatives (Tony Caldeira), Liberal Democrats (Peter Reisdorf) and Green Party (John Coyne) also standing for the all important Wirral West seat.

West Kirby Today has requested interviews with all the Wirral West candidates. Further information on all the candidates is available here

You can watch a live video of the rally over on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/westkirbytoday/