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Tens of thousands take to streets to campaign for Labour

TENS of thousands of Labour campaigners were in action over the weekend targeting Tory-held marginal constituencies in the run-up to Thursday’s general election.

In the north of England, more than 200 volunteers from Manchester, including Labour students, crossed the Pennines to campaign in three Tory-held constituencies in West Yorkshire.

The seats of Calder Valley, near Halifax, Shipley in Bradford and Pudsey in Leeds are vital for Labour to form a government.

They are held with slim majorities respectively by Craig Whittaker, Philip Davies and Stuart Andrew, three of the Tories’ most reactionary MPs, even by Conservative standards.

The Labour candidates for the three areas are Josh Fenton-Glynn, Jo Pike and Jane Aitchison.

Teachers were also on the streets telling the public about the local effects of education cuts.

In Calder Valley, Sue McMahon of Calderdale Against School Cuts said that school heads, governors and parents were on the streets to “highlight the dire situation of school funding.”

Ms McMahon said: “When heads can’t afford to replace staff, when subjects are axed, when school leaders are forced to take on the role of site manager, midday supervisor, grounds maintenance, cleaner, supply teacher, it’s clearly time to get the message out that schools can’t go on like this.

“Many members of the public told us their concerns about the lack of funding for special educational needs.

“It was clear that government austerity impacts on both individuals and public services. With so many services being cut, schools have had to become the fourth emergency service.”

Ms McMahon said that although they “can’t and won’t” tell people who to vote for, they “can and will present the facts.”

Calderdale alone has lost £39.4 million in school funding since 2015.

In the south of England, a Love Music Hate Racism battle bus was in action in Uxbridge and Kensington.

In Kensington, campaigner Julie Sherry said: “We were calling for local people to ‘Vote Against Racism’ on Thursday.”

Labour parliamentary candidates for the two seats, Emma Dent Coad and Dawn Butler, spoke to anti-racism activists and Labour canvassers at a rally in Tavistock Square to kick off the day.

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