Party launches campaign HQ as promises are made to rail commuters

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Seventeen weeks of political jostling ahead of the General Election has begun with the launch of Labour’s campaign headquarters in Bedford.

The party’s Parliamentary candidate for Bedford and Kempston Patrick Hall was joined by supporters to officially open the HQ in Midland Road this week.

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Mr Hall said: “This was a strong and enthusiastic launch of our campaign.

“I am determined local people will be offered a real choice at the election - a divided society with the Conservatives, or working together with Labour.”

The group were joined by the chair of the House of Commons Select Committee for Communities and Local Government Clive Betts MP.

He emphasised the importance of Bedford and Kempston in deciding the outcome of the General Election.

Meanwhile, Labour’s candidate for the Mid Bedfordshire constituency, Charlynne Pullen, visited Flitwick rail station to discuss recent fare increases with commuters.

She intends to campaign for a “better deal for passengers and taxpayers” by “reforming the railways, simplifying the ticketing system and enforcing a strict cap on fares for every route”.

She said: “Working people in Mid Beds struggling with a cost-of‐living crisis have been hit with massive fare rises of more than 20 per cent since 2010.

“In Flitwick and Harlington, commuters are forced to pay thousands of pounds more to commute to work on increasingly overcrowded trains, while the Tories give tax breaks to millionaires.”

Ms Pullen said a season ticket from Bedford to London has gone up £820 since 2010 - from £3,583 to £4,404 in 2015, while the season ticket from Flitwick to London has risen to £4,072 from £3,583 in 2014.

She added Labour will give passengers a voice in how the railways are run and ensure they are sold the cheapest available ticket for their journey.