THE 'pensions justice' battle for South Lakes women has become further drawn out, following a court defeat for one of the campaign groups.

'Back to 60' campaigners lost a landmark legal fight to reverse a government-ordered rise in the pension age for women earlier this month.

The Court of Appeal told the campaign - which pushes for a re-lowering of the pension age for women to 60, and which led the recent appeal case - that the Government's pension hikes were not unlawful discrimination or a breach of human rights.

Last year, Back to 60 lost a High Court claim over the same issue.

The group has vowed their fight 'is not over' and is considering a further appeal to the Supreme Court.

Approximately 3.8million women born in the 1950s are having their state pension age raised, bringing it to 66 by next month. Thousands of women in the South Lakes are thought to be affected.

Meanwhile, Women Against State Pension[s] Injustice (WASPI) groups in the area - which seek some form of compensation for the pension hikes, but no lowering of the raised age threshold - await news from the parliamentary ombudsman.

The ombudsman is to consider six of the 'most representative' WASPI claims submitted to the office.

Carol Haigh, a member of the Lancaster and South Lakes WASPI branch, said this week: "The 'Back to 60' case has put our [WASPI] cause on hold for about three years.

"If they are now able to crowdfund enough and take their case to the Supreme Court, our case could be put on hold again.

"Hopefully the parliamentary ombudsman looks at our claims again soon."

Commenting on the pensions justice cause, South Lakes MP Tim Farron said: “This is disappointing news for many women in South Cumbria.

“Many of the women have been pinning their hopes on the appeal, but I am sure that they will not give up and neither will I give up making the case for them to get the support that they deserve.

“During this crisis the Government has, rightly, been prepared to give financial support to millions of people, so surely now is the time for them to back the WASPI campaigners.

“They deserve justice – they have suffered for long enough."