A LONG-SERVING MP set out to blaze a trail around her North-East constituency in a bid to retain the Labour marginal seat at the weekend.

Helen Goodman launched her bid to win a fifth term as Bishop Auckland MP backed by members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) and other regional Trades’ Union representatives.

Aboard an election battle “appliance”, an adapted fire engine, supplied by the FBU, she addressed supporters in bleak conditions in Coundon.

She offered backing for firefighters in their fight against what she said were Conservative Government funding reductions.

“The Tory cuts to the fire service are a disgrace. They’ve taken a quarter of the money, so Durham has lost 80 firefighters.

“They do essential work.”

Mrs Goodman also spoke out against cuts in local school budgets and backed Labour’s pledge to bolster the Sure Start scheme, including facilities which previously served the village.

Also standing in Bishop Auckland in the Advent election are: Nicholas Alan Brown, Brexit Party; Conservative candidate Dehenna Sheridan Davison; and, Liberal Democrat, Ray Georgeson.