Lib Dems 'taking the fight' to Labour's Northern heartlands

Lib Dem leader Tim Farron
Lib Dem leader Tim Farron
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The Lib Dems have vowed to “take the fight” to Labour's heartlands in the North as they kicked off their campaign for the snap general election.

Addressing a rally in Manchester, leader Tim Farron claimed Labour supporters are "feeling let down" by a party "that has betrayed their values and taken their votes for granted”.

He outlined his plans to target seats in northern constituencies that had a high level of support for the remain campaign in last year's referendum.

"So many voters feel betrayed by Jeremy Corbyn's support for a divisive hard Brexit... This election is a chance for them to change direction of the country," he said.

The party's list of potential targets include Paul Blomfield's Sheffield Central seat, and Fabian Hamilton's Leeds North East constituency.

The party is also eyeing up the Labour-held seats of Manchester Withington, Liverpool Riverside and Liverpool Wavertree.

The Lib Dem launch coincided with a Labour campaign event in Bristol, in which Mr Corbyn claimed his part is "gaining a huge amount of ground" on the Conservatives.

Speaking to Sky News, the Islington MP also claimed to be "loving every moment" of the campaign.

"We're gaining support, we're gaining a huge amount of ground and we're getting a great deal of support," he said.

"We are putting a message out there - this country does not have to be so divided, (there) does not have to be such appalling levels of poverty and unachieved ambition because of people growing up in poverty."