Labour's Sir Keir Starmer and Rachel Reeves visited Stevenage as part of the General Election campaign.

The Labour leader and his shadow chancellor were accompanied by the party's candidate for Stevenage Kevin Bonavia, as they visited Airbus Defence and Space.

Sir Keir met with factory workers and outlined the case for his party and their plans to restore investment and growth to Britain after years of what he called 'Tory chaos'.

Labour claims that 74,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost in the five years since the last General Election, which saw the Conservatives win a sweeping majority.

In a speech to workers, Sir Keir said: "British manufacturing is central to delivering growth in our country. Not only that, it’s part of the social fabric of our communities. Local businesses are the pride of a region. They provide a sense of belonging and purpose to its people. They enrich local areas.  

He continued: “At the heart of our plans for growth is a hard-wired belief that only with government and business working side by side will we be able to turn our economy around, create good jobs and build a future for our country.

“The choice this election is simple. Five more years of Tory decline, or five missions for a decade of national renewal with Labour.”

Mr Bonavia said: "It was a pleasure to welcome Keir and Rachel to Stevenage and see one of the fantastic businesses at the heart of our community. Airbus does such great work at the cutting edge of technology as well as training and employing local people.

"But there is so much more potential here. If I’m elected with Keir and Rachel in government we will do all we can to ensure Stevenage is at the heart of economic growth and national renewal.”

The Conservative candidate is former actor and theatre agent Alex Clarkson. Speaking last year after his selection, he said: "I promise the people of Stevenage that if you put your faith in me at the next election, I will work tirelessly to rejuvenate our town and villages, as well as create more opportunities for local residents. 

"I believe that we need a strong local voice in parliament, one that understands our town’s and villages’ unique communities along with the issues that matter to you and your family."

He continued: "I believe that I am that strong voice, and I hope to meet with, and speak to, as many of you as I can in the months [now weeks] ahead".

The Liberal Democrats have selected Lisa Nash, Knebworth councillor and lecturer in midwifery, as their candidate. 

She said: “I have a passion for politics and Liberal Democrat values.

“I am relishing the opportunity to stand. I feel I can bring a range of experience as a voice and a member of parliament for Stevenage."

The trio will be joined on the ballot paper by Paul Dawson (Green Party) and Peter Hopper (Reform UK)

Voters will go the polls on July 4 with Labour looking to return to power for the first time since 2010. Incumbent Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has argued that under Sir Keir, Labour have 'no plan' for the country.