LABOUR'S high command was accused today of abandoning candidates in the North of England, with one warning: "We feel excluded."

Dari Taylor, whose Stockton South seat has been heavily targeted by the Conservatives, urged Gordon Brown to visit the area and criticised a lack of exposure for female Cabinet members such as Harriet Harman.

She also called on the Prime Minister to listen to more people and broaden the party's appeal beyond target voters.

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Ms Taylor told BBC Radio 4's The World At One that a "couple of Cabinet ministers" had visited her seat but only for "small, intimate" gatherings.

She said she came from a school of holding meetings with 100-150 people, with a cross-section of interests, which are being squeezed out by the televised leaders debates.

"I miss that opportunity," she told the programme.

"We feel excluded. The leaders debates are flashy showtimes. They are too American for most of us - they are about clothes and gestures and smiling. We actually want people to talk to us about the issues that are real and relevant to our lives."

Asked what message she would send to Labour's campaign strategists, Ms Taylor replied: "I think its essential that we have the Prime Minister within the region, hopefully speaking to as many people as he can and more particularly listening to as many people as he can - that's a crucial thing.

"If you want people to trust you, and build up a trust and support you, they have got to feel they have an input into your political world.

"It isn't just about target voters - this has got to be about the electorate in general."