Labour’s Lisa Nandy has pledged to defend Wigan’s public services as she launches her campaign for re-election.
The former shadow cabinet minister said her record of dealing with 10,000 pieces of casework means she remains “a strong voice” for residents.
Launching her election campaign in Mesnes Park this week, Ms Nandy highlighted her team had helped safeguard jobs and local health services amid Tory cuts.
She said: “I have been proud to stand up for the people of Wigan, whether it’s fighting the bedroom tax, defeating Tory plans to make huge cuts to tax credits for our families or opposing attempts to privatise our NHS.
“Over the coming weeks, my team and I will be knocking on thousands of doors talking to people about my promise to the people of Wigan: to defend our schools from planned Tory cuts, save our rail services and defend our green, open spaces from development.”
Having secured a 52 per cent share of the vote in 2015, 14,000 ahead of her nearest rival, Ms Nandy will be an overwhelming favourite to retain her seat.
However, June’s election will be the first since the borough’s emphatic vote to leave the European Union, countering the stance adopted by the area’s three Labour MPs.
Ms Nandy also attracted criticism from a local trade union for resigning from leader Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet last year, citing concerns over party leadership.
In recent months though her appointment to run Labour’s by-election campaign in Manchester Gorton has been viewed as an indicator of her high standing within the party.
Ms Nandy said her team’s casework record had seen them help residents on a number of issues “from hundreds of older people struggling to access social care to thousands of families affected by cuts to disability benefits and tax credits.”
She added: “It’s been a privilege to serve as the MP for our town for the past seven years.
“During that time, I have been proud to help more than 10,000 people across Wigan.
“Together we’ve saved our A&E and maternity unit, safeguarded local jobs and defended our green open spaces from developers.
“We’ve achieved all of this despite being handed some of the worst Tory cuts in the country.”
• Ms Nandy will stand against Ukip’s Nathan Ryding and the Lib Dem’s Mark Clayton. The Conservatives are expected to announce candidates early next week.
The deadline for applications is May 11.