NORTHWICH'S MP has backed Sir Keir Starmer to be the next Labour leader.

Mike Amesbury, who retained his Weaver Vale seat for Labour in a close-fought race in December, will support the former Director of Public Prosecutions in the leadership race.

Starmer, 57, faces competition from Rebecca Long-Bailey, Emily Thornberry, Lisa Nandy and Jess Phillips in a bid to succeed Jeremy Corbyn, who announced plans to step down after Labour's heavy General Election defeat before Christmas.

His successor will be elected on April 4.

Northwich Guardian:

Mike said: "It is now just over one month since the most difficult General Election I have fought in as the Labour candidate for Weaver Vale.

"While I was a northern Labour MP that was re-elected, it was bitter sweet given the scale of our defeat, the worst since 1935.

"I promised that I with others would listen, learn and respond to the concerns raised by thousands of residents on the doorstep and those that have corresponded with me since.

"That process continues alongside the Labour Party Leader and Deputy Leadership contest, a process that will be concluded on April the 4th.

Northwich Guardian:

"After my surgery on Saturday where the fundamental flaws of Universal Credit and the modern day shame of homelessness were all too apparent I had the rare chance of watching my young son playing football for a local junior team.

"At half time other local parents and grandparents spoke to me about the election result, some had voted for me and others had not.

"The consensus amongst the banter was that the Labour party needs to get its act together, be a credible opposition to rebuild trust in politics. An unprompted name in the mix was Keir Starmer.

"Keir is undoubtedly a very able politician of the left. I do remember him entering politics as a Labour MP after a very notable career as the most senior lawyer in the land.

"Since my election only two and half years ago I have seen him up close at the dispatch box and he is head and shoulders above our Conservative opponents in intellect and rigour. A serious politician that has walked the walk when it comes to fighting for justice in the highest courts in this land and beyond.

Northwich Guardian:

"During the difficult election campaign he travelled up to a number of Northern seats to lend a hand including mine. With just 48 hours notice we packed a local bar, Kash_22 in Frodsham with supporters and residents to listen to Keir doing a mobilisation speech then taking random questions after question about a whole array of subjects. He was impressive.

"Which takes me back to the horrors of the cases I face week in week out in my surgeries, cases that are a direct consequence of 10 years of a Tory government now extended by another four to five years.

"Our supporters and potential voters want a bold and credible alternative government.

"I believe Keir can unite the Labour party, build an effective organisation and win, win for Britain and create a fairer, greener society."