Seat is top target for Labour, says Corbyn
LABOUR leader Jeremy Corbyn says the Parliamentary seat an Eastville councillor will try to win for the party is a top target at the next general election.
The current MP for the Filton and Bradley Stoke seat constituency is Conservative Jack Lopresti. But his majority was cut from 9,838 in 2015 to 4,190 at last year’s election.
Mr Corbyn told the Voice that the seat will be a “very high priority” for Labour, during a visit to the constituency in October.
Mhairi Threlfall, a Bristol city councillor for Eastville and cabinet member for transport and connectivity, won the contest to be Labour’s prospective Parliamentary candidate in the target seat earlier this year.
Ms Threlfall, an entrepreneur who is originally from Edinburgh, says people in the constituency, which includes the Frenchay & Stoke Park and Staple Hill wards, face difficulties including traffic congestion, issues with the new Universal Credit system, cuts to education and the impact of Brexit on local jobs. In particular, Ms Threlfall criticised the removal of the Severn Bridge toll without sufficient plans in place to mitigate against the increased congestion that local constituents are likely to face.
Mr Corbyn referred to Airbus and the importance of securing a ‘serious trade deal’ with Europe after Brexit, in order to save jobs.
He said: “We are working on our economic development model for the country, which is about investment in the future of manufacturing, better infrastructure in this country and trade relationship with Europe that protects jobs – and crucially to make sure that Airbus stays here.
“I fully understand Airbus’ position and it means there must be an open trade deal with Europe.”
Mr Corbyn also explained his plans for a ‘cradle-to-grave’ National Education System, which would ensure learning is free at the point of access.
He said that a Labour government would encourage ‘parity of esteem’ between vocational and academic education, as he feels that vocational courses have been treated as ‘second-class options’ in the UK.
Mr Corbyn was also joined by Dawn Butler, Shadow Minister for Women and Equality, who launched proposals earlier on in the day for an Emancipation Educational Trust, which would see lessons on black history become part of the school curriculum.