The Labour party and its leader Jeremy Corbyn visited Blackpool yesterday to launch the party’s education pledges in the resort.
Joined by shadow education secretary Angela Rayner, Mr Corbyn spoke at Blackpool FC’s Bloomfield Road stadium addressing a packed audience with national media in attendance.
Focusing on education, ahead of the general election next month, Mrs Rayner said Labour will “throw open the door” for adults to study, “whether they want to change career, are made redundant or didn’t get the qualifications they needed when they were younger.”
Labour’s commitment to lifelong learning is part of its plans for a National Education Service, which will provide ‘cradle-to-grave’ learning that is free at the point of use.
She said: “For many, adult education is too expensive, too time-consuming or too difficult to get into.
“People have been held back for too long. We will make free education a right to ensure we have the skills we need to allow our economy to rise to the opportunities of the future."
In response to The Gazette’s Power Up The North campaign which launched last week, Mr Corbyn said: “I recognise the North-South divide is wide and getting wider. The levels of infrastructure, transport and investment in London and the South East are massive compared to the North East and the North West.
“And so we will do a number of things, one of them will be to develop a national investment bank which will invest in major infrastructure project across the whole country.”
Both Mr Corbyn and Mrs Rayner have backed the town’s two Labour candidates, Gordon Marsden for Blackpool South and Chris Webb for Blackpool North and Cleveleys.
Mr Corbyn said: “You’ve got Gordon and Chris here. They’re standing on a manifesto which will bring good jobs, which will bring investment to Blackpool and which will improve the living standards of people in Blackpool by ending Universal Credit, by rent regulation and above all conditioned regulation on the private rented sector which is such a huge problem all across Blackpool.”
Shortly after speaking at Bloomfield Road, Mr Corbyn and Mrs Rayner made their way to St John’s Square on the Labour campaign bus.
Mr Corbyn said: “In winning the election we’re going to do it for the people of the country to bring about a fairer more just socirty and bring investment to places that have seen almost nothing since the 1980s where so much of our industry was destroyed and I’m so proud of our candidates here in Blackpool, Chris and Gordon for the work they do and Gordon for the fantastic way he has represented this town.”
Mr Corbyn also warned a cyber attack on Labour’s digital platforms could be a “sign of things to come” in the General Election.
The Labour leader said the timing of the attack - which slowed some of the party’s campaign activities - was “suspicious” and had made him “nervous” about what might happen in the rest of the campaign.
The so-called “distributed denial-of-service” (DDoS) attack, which took place on Monday, was described by the party as “sophisticated and large-scale”.
However, a source at the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), which is investigating the incident, said it was relatively “low level” with no evidence of “state-sponsored activity”.