Angela Rayner's message to Merseyside on eve of the General Election

Angela Rayner made a surprise visit to Southport on the eve of the General Election
-Credit: (Image: Iain Watts/Liverpool Echo)

As the rain drizzled down on Southport today, Labour's deputy leader Angela Rayner came to town with a message for the people of the coastal town and the region it belongs to.

Ms Rayner, who is expected to be the next deputy Prime Minister, stepped off the bus at Southport's Pleasureland to a crowd of Labour supporters, councillors and parliamentary hopefuls, as she led a final push to secure the only seat on Merseyside yet to be secured by Labour.

Discussing the Conservatives downfall and failures over the last 14 years, she energised the waiting crowd, who will all now believe that Merseyside is on the verge of turning entirely red.

Speaking to the ECHO during her trip to the Sefton town, she said: "We hope to turn Southport red but we've got to get people out and vote for it. We've had 14 years of the chaos, the sleaze and the scandal, even in this campaign the Tories haven't been able to help themselves and they've been a disservice to themselves as well as the country.

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"The Labour Party wants to win in Southport and across the country because we want that Labour government that can bring about that change. We've had the slogans, the 'Boris is Back' and again they think that's something to celebrate when in fact he was partying while people couldn't see their loved ones in the pandemic and Rishi Sunak got a fixed penalty.

"It just reminds me of how terrible things have been under the Tory government and how much we need that change. Tomorrow is about that change, it's about having an optimistic future and it's about investment in jobs and the future of our young people."

Patrick Hurley, Southport's Labour candidate who is hopeful of taking the seat from Conservative MP Damien Moore, spoke about what the change in government could do for the town, and what he will work on should he be elected come Friday morning.

Standing in the car park of Pleasureland, Mr Hurley said: "Hopefully, what I bring to the table is a new sense of a town that has got its identity back. Southport, it was never a good fit for a Conservative Party that promised Levelling Up and didn't deliver, that promised 40 new hospitals and didn't deliver, promised 20,000 new police and again didn't deliver.

Patrick Hurley
Patrick Hurley is hoping to become Southport MP later this week -Credit:Iain Watts/Liverpool Echo

"Every single measure this Conservative government has failed, it's a long list of failure and what I want to bring to the table is the sense that I am a Labour MP, working with Labour government, a Labour council and a Labour Police and Crime Commissioner, and a Labour City Region Mayor. We can all pull together to make sure we get Southport back to where it needs to be."

He continued: "Southport has never had a Labour MP in its history but, obviously that's not through lack of trying from our part, but what I do think we bring to the table and what I do think that it reflects, is that Southport isn't this town of itself, it's part of a wider community across Merseyside, across Lancashire, and across the wider North West region.

"What we're hopefully going to see tomorrow is the whole of the north west as one, rejecting the failures of the a tired Tory government which hasn't had its best interests at heart. We know that the whole of the north west wants change, we know that Southport wants change and hopefully when people wake up on Friday morning they'll see that the work of change is about to begin."

As Ms Rayner waved goodbye to Southport for the final time before the election, she rallied supporters and made one last plea to voters. She told the ECHO: "Vote for change and vote for Labour. Give us that opportunity. I've had the privilege of being an MP for nine years and I've been in the opposition for the whole nine years, I've seen the devastation and the decline under the Tories.

"I've not had the opportunity to make that change. I will graft really hard to make sure I can make that difference. Give us that opportunity tomorrow and I will work my hardest to ensure that the people of Southport get what they deserve and get that recognition for their hard work and for what they've been doing."

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