Election 2015 England

Election 2015: Ruth Smeeth says jobs for Stoke are priority

Ruth Smeeth
Image caption Ruth Smeeth said she wanted her constituents to have the same opportunities as she had

A new MP in Stoke has said her top priority will be bringing jobs to the city.

Ruth Smeeth held the Stoke-on-Trent North seat for Labour, but with a majority cut by 3,399.

"We need jobs, we desperately, desperately need better paid [jobs] and no more zero-hour contracts, no more minimum wage jobs," she said.

She added Stoke was the only city in the country "negatively affected" by the HS2 rail project.

However, Ms Smeeth said she would support HS2 if a new deal meant it would bring investment to Stoke.

"I will be doing everything that I can to make sure that we get the investment we need and if that's HS2 then I desperately want it," she said.

Ms Smeeth takes over from Joan Walley who has stood down.

Sitting Labour MPs in Staffordshire saw their majorities shrink while the Conservatives made safe seats even safer in last week's General Election.

Labour saw its majority in Newcastle-under-Lyme shrink to 65, with sitting MP Paul Farrelly narrowly holding off the Conservatives.

Stoke-on-Trent South was also held by Labour, but with 1,591 fewer votes.

The Labour vote also dropped slightly in Stoke Central, but the party was still 5,179 votes clear of UKIP, who pushed the Conservatives into third place.

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