MPs have reacted with enthusiasm to the Government backed scheme to name Cumbrian traders with connections to slavery.

The Dictionary of British Slave Traders has been backed by the Government with a £1 million fund to provide information of investors involved in the Transatlantic slave trade including shareholders.

Cumbria businesses and individuals living today are expected to be identified as having links to slavery.

Barrow MP Simon Fell said: “I’m the first person to say that we need to learn from our history, but I really hope that this isn’t another attempt to erase the parts that make uncomfortable reading. Like it or lump it, this is the culture that our society is built on.

“We are stronger for acknowledging that and talking about it, rather than pretending it didn’t happen.”

South Lakes MP Tim Farron said: “It’s good to learn and understand more about our country’s past – both the positives and the negatives.

“Our most important focus, however, must be on what we can all do in the present to stand up against racism, discrimination and injustice whenever we see it.”

The scheme had been met with criticism for possibly smearing people alive today by linking them to the trade that occurred before their lifetimes.