LABOUR has announced its candidate to challenge for the Westmorland and Lonsdale seat at the next general election.

The party has selected Pippa Smith, who works in the charity sector, as their parliamentary candidate for the next general election.

She will compete against current Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron, who has held the Westmorland and Lonsdale seat since 2005, Conservative candidate Matty Jackman and Reform UK candidate James Townley.

Ms Smith said: “I grew up in South Cumbria and spent my childhood climbing fells and swimming in lakes so I know how special this part of the world is. I’m honoured to have been selected to stand here for the Labour party.

“Working and volunteering with local charities, I see the impact of the cost-of-living crisis and the decline of our public services. After fourteen years of Conservative government, it’s time for change. I’m looking forward to advancing Labour’s message of a brighter future for Britain.

“My top priorities are taking action against climate change, improving housing and fighting for our NHS. I also want to see action on violence against women and girls and youth mental health.”

Ms Smith will replace the previous parliamentary candidate Phillip Black.

He received 2,293 votes in 2019, an equivalent of 4.4 per cent of the vote, which represented a 4.9 per cent loss on the previous general election.

The Westmorland and Lonsdale constituency will see changes to its boundaries at the next general election.

Previously, the constituency extended down to Kirkby Lonsdale in the south, and up to Rydal and Ambleside in the north.

The new constituency boundaries extend as far north as Milburn Forest, Temple Sowerby, the outskirts of Penrith up to the A66 and Hutton Roof. Kirkby Stephen, Appleby and Greystoke will also be moved into Westmorland and Lonsdale.

Burton, Kirkby Lonsdale and Sedbergh will become part of the Morecambe and Lunesdale constituency.

The parliament website states: “Constituency boundaries are reviewed periodically to make sure that constituencies are all roughly a similar size and reflect local ties between areas.

“The reviews alter constituencies to reflect rising and falling populations, as well as changes in the boundaries of the wards that comprise them.”

The new boundary review is stricter than previous ones, as constituencies must now be within 5 per cent of the ‘electoral quota’ of 73,393. Previously, up to 10 per cent variation had been accepted.

Parliamentary Boundary Commissions are sponsored by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, but are outside of direct ministerial control. The government gives the public body funding and resources.