Ben Fletcher and Education Secretary Gillian Keegan - election

Education secretary Gillian Keegan spent the day on the campaign trail in the Crewe and Nantwich area in the run-up to next month’s general election, writes Belinda Ryan.

The minister was helping Crewe and Nantwich Conservative candidate Ben Fletcher in his bid to retain the seat for the Tories.

They were joined by activists door-knocking in Shavington.

Mr Fletcher said: “It’s been brilliant to welcome the education secretary to Crewe.

“Crewe, like the rest of the UK, has experienced a rise in educational standards and that’s something the Conservative government has championed for the past 14 years.”

Mr Fletcher added that on the doorstep, early years education and apprenticeships were among the topics people wanted to discuss.

He said: “The government’s ongoing focus on early years education is to ensure that children get the very best start in life, supporting hard-working families with free nursery spaces.

“And on apprenticeships, I know from my own background as a chief financial officer, the way in which they are changing, for the better, the routes into professions, which is something the government has really pushed over the last 14 years, opening up more opportunities.”

Speaking after the visit, Mrs Keegan said: “Ben is a fantastic candidate and like me has spent a lot of time in business before coming into politics and having made that journey myself I really find it helps.

“It helps with understanding what we need to do to fix things, how to get things delivered and how to motivate teams.

“So, I’m excited that somebody of Ben’s calibre is willing to come and serve in public service the people of Crewe and Nantwich.”

Mr Fletcher is the new Conservative candidate and will be hoping the Tories can keep hold of the seat which has alternated between Labour and Conservative over the past few years.

Other candidates standing in the Crewe and Nantwich constituency are Connor Naismith (Lab), Te Ata Browne (Green Party), Phi Lane (Workers Party), Brian Silvester (Putting Crewe/Nantwich First), Matthew Theobold (Liberal Democrats), Matt Wood (Reform UK), Lord Psychobilly Tractor (Official Monster Raving Loony Party).

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