VIDEO ELECTION INTERVIEW: Cat Smith, Lancaster and Fleetwood

The Labour Party’s Cat Smith, 31, has been MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood since 2015.

She said that this election was about “real choices”, that “poverty doesn’t have to be inevitable”, and that “we don’t have to see the rich getting richer”.

Cat Smith

Cat Smith

She said that there was an opportunity for change, and that she is that “change candidate”.

On the Labour manifesto she said: “The manifesto was a team effort, and I think there’s a really strong team at the head of the Labour Party.

“The Conservatives are trying to make it all about Theresa May, but Mrs May can’t run a government on her own.

“Our manifesto is fully costed, and it comes with an additional document which states exactly how much our plans cost, and how much we will raise in revenue.”

She said that the EU Referendum result proved that people wanted to take back control, but that didn’t mean “taking back control from Brussels and holding it in Westminster”.

“It’s about devolving that control down to local communities, so that people can bring about change where they live.

“Our farmers and the fishing industry need help and the NFU is right to be concerned about CAP funding,” she said. Ms Smith said she is proud of her track record of working with businesses in Lancaster over the past two years, campaigning on business rates rises, new industrial land, and flood defences for the city after Storm Desmond.

She said: “We’ve still got businesses shut because the insurance system is stacked against the ordinary person.

“We struggle for industrial land here in the district.

“Our businesses are calling out for more land, and investing in flood defences for current industrial land is a strategic priority for Lancaster.”

She said that voting was critical, and that it was “time to pick something different”.

She said: “I don’t think that having nurses at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary who work a 12 hour shift and then have to go to the foodbank on the way home is the kind of country that’s working for ‘ordinary working people’. It’s time for a change.”

She said that she does not support the reintroduction of fox hunting, and that Labour would focus on renewable energy and would “legislate to stop fracking” from going ahead.

She supports calls for Proportional Representation which she says would “reflect the views of the people more accurately”.

On plans for the Bailrigg Garden Village, she said: “It needs to include public services such as a primary school, community centre, pubs and shops. “Reconfiguring the road network in south Lancaster would help relieve congestion, and air polluting in Galgate.

“I’m not giving it a blank cheque but I’m not ruling it out completely.”

This interview was conducted on Thursday May 18.