Students give shadow minister food for thought

Thursday 14 February 2013 Updated: 18/02 11:52

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Buy photos » Liam Byrne MP and Coun Joy Squires meet a student at Worcester College of Technology. (s)

LABOUR'S shadow work and pensions secretary Liam Byrne MP has claimed his party is the only one campaigning on issues that matter to Worcester residents.

Speaking to The Standard during a visit to Worcester College of Technology on Thursday (February 7), Mr Byrne threw his weight behind Labour's parliamentary candidate Joy Squires and said Worcester was a priority for the party at the next General Election.

Mr Byrne also used his visit to launch a stinging attack on the Conservatives' 'bedroom tax’ which will see residents in housing association properties have their benefits cut if they are deemed to have an unused spare bedroom.

“The bedroom tax will hit people hard, two thirds of those affected are disabled and they won't understand why they have to pay £14 more a week. In no world is that fair,” he said.

Mr Byrne claimed there had been a huge surge in support for Coun Squires since she was selected as Labour's candidate for the city and he praised her campaigning, particularly over affordable housing.

"Worcester is a big priority for us because we want to earn people's trust to serve as their Government again,” he added.

“We've worked hard and listened to what people think we got wrong last time and heard very clearly how people want us to change."

During his visit, he met college principal Stuart Laverick as well as students who prepared a five course meal for Mr Byrne and members of Worcester's Labour Party.

Coun Squires said: "I was delighted to be able to show Liam Byrne how successful Worcester College of Technology is in providing students with the skills and qualifications they need to make their way in the world.

"The students we met were enthusiastic and full of praise for the college."

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