A COUNCILLOR from west Cumbria has been selected as the Liberal Democrat candidate in the Copeland by-election.

Maternity services campaigner Rebecca Hanson has been confirmed as the group's prospective parliamentary candidate for the seat.

Current Copeland MP, Labour representative Jamie Reed, will stand down at the end of this month to take up a new job at head of development and community relations with Sellafield Ltd.

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Mrs Hanson is a councillor in Cockermouth where she has opposed plans to remove consultant led maternity services from the West Cumberland Hospital.

She said health would feature heavily in her election campaign, along with Brexit and the local economy.

Mrs Hanson added: "This by-election is a chance for people to send a strong message against a hard Brexit that damages local jobs by pulling Britain out of the single market.

"It's also an opportunity to reject this Conservative government's underfunding of our NHS and say no to plans to move vital services like maternity and A&E from West Cumberland Hospital to Carlisle.

"I am passionate about standing up for west Cumbria, and recognise the vital role that the nuclear industry plays in our local economy.

"I'm proud to be have been selected as the candidate for the Liberal Democrats, the only party fighting to protect the economy by staying in the single market and calling for a long-term solution to the crisis facing the NHS."

READ MORE: Two more local faces throw their hat in the ring to be Labour's candidate in Copeland by-election

READ MORE: Copeland MP Jamie Reed explains his reasons for leaving Parliament