A POLITICAL row has broken out after the leader of the Labour Party refused to give his support for a nuclear development in west Cumbria.

Speaking on The Andrew Marr Show this morning, Jeremy Corbyn did not endorse the proposed Moorside Power Station when asked.

He said: "I want to see a mix, I want to see a greater emphasis in the long-term on renewables in the way Germany and other countries have done but we do have nuclear power stations, we do have a nuclear base at the moment and that will continue for a long time."

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Responding to Mr Corbyn's comments, John Stevenson, Conservative MP for Carlisle, said: "Once again Jeremy Corbyn refuses to back a new nuclear power plant at Moorside – a project which could create 21,000 new jobs in Cumbria.

John Stevenson MP. "And he's previously called for every nuclear power station to be decommissioned which would put tens of thousands of jobs at risk in the nuclear industry."

NuGen, a joint venture between Toshiba and ENGIE, is developing plans for a new nuclear base of up to 3.8 gigawatts at Moorside to power up to six million homes.

The comments come at a crucial time as Labour and Conservatives battle for votes in the upcoming by-election in Copeland, home to Sellafield and the proposed Moorside project.

However, John Woodcock, MP for Barrow and Furness, insisted Labour's stance on Moorside was clear.

He said: "Jeremy Corbyn is more relaxed about expressing his personal opinions than most party leaders but Labour's position on Moorside is clear: in government we passed the legislation that made new civil nuclear possible and locally and nationally we continue to champion the new power station.

"Labour will select its by election candidate this week who will campaign every bit as hard as Jamie Reed for the 21,000 new local jobs that Moorside will create as well as standing up for the pensions of Sellafield workers that risk being cut by the Tory government.

"With real fears about the future of West Cumberland hospital, this by-election is a chance for voters to send a clear message to Theresa May that downgrading the A&E and maternity unit is not acceptable, and this is the argument that Labour will be making right up until polling day."

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The Conservatives have put the nuclear industry at the centre of their campaigning, saying Corbyn's views would be a "catastrophe" for Cumbria and industry jobs.

Responding to what his message to the constituency's voters would be, Mr Corbyn said: "My message to the voters of Copeland is the NHS is in crisis, your hospital is about to be continuing underfunded and understaffed and your A&E department is at risk.

"We will be protecting jobs in that area and we would also be trying to protect the pensions of those people that have worked so very hard for so very long to keep the nuclear industry safe."