Labour incumbents bid to retain their MP seats

Yvonne Fovargue MP

Yvonne Fovargue MP

Wigan borough counterparts Yvonne Fovargue and Lisa Nandy will bid to reclaim their parliamentary seats in June.

The Labour pair confirmed their intentions ahead of yesterday’s party deadline although Leigh colleague Andy Burnham has said he will stand down.

Lisa Nandy MP

Lisa Nandy MP

Ms Fovargue, who resigned from Labour’s front-bench last year over concerns with Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, said voters should be under no illusions over why the Prime Minister has called the snap general election.

The Makerfield MP told the Wigan Post: “Let’s not pretend that Theresa May has called this election in the national interest.

“The Tory splits on Brexit has forced her into a humiliating U-turn.

“I stand ready to fight this election on living standards and the public services we all rely upon as well as my local record of delivery on protecting the greenbelt.”

Current Labour MPs had until 6pm on Thursday to confirm whether they wished to stand again.

Leigh’s Mr Burnham is among several Labour MPs to announce they will not re-stand, including former shadow chancellor Alan Johnson and prominent Brexit campaigner Gisela Stuart.

Wigan MP Ms Nandy, who resigned from a cabinet role last year and has previously been tipped as a future leadership contender, said there is a clear choice on June 8.

She said: “I am extremely proud to have represented the residents of Wigan as their MP over the past seven years.

“During that time, I have worked hard for local people on the issues that matter to us all: fighting Tory cuts to our public services, protecting our green belt from development, defending local rail services, saving Wigan’s A&E and safeguarding the most vulnerable residents from benefit cuts.

“I look forward to spending the next eight weeks campaigning hard across the constituency and talking to people about the clear choice: a Tory government, starving our NHS of resources, cutting funding to Wigan’s schools and driving down wages, or Labour, determined to fight for public services and invest in local people.”

The two Labour MPs will, like several colleagues across the country, have to reconcile the fact both campaigned to remain in the EU last year before the borough voted overwhelmingly to leave.

On a national level, leader Mr Corbyn this week ruled out backing a second referendum on the final Brexit deal after suggestions Labour could include the policy in their general election manifesto.

The party was reportedly considering calling for a second referendum to win over Remain voters who may be tempted to switch to the Liberal Democrats, who have promised a national poll on the final UK-EU deal.

A spokesman for the Labour leader said: “A second referendum is not our policy and it won’t be in our manifesto.”