PENDLE councillor Christian Wakeford has pledged that social mobility and education will be his Parliamentary passions in his first speech as an MP.

The Barrowford Tory and former leader of the borough Conservative group was elected as MP for Bury South on December. 12.

Making his maiden speech he paid tribute to former Labour and then Independent MP Ivan Lewis who backed him at the end of last month's election campaign.

Mr Wakeford said: "My predecessor and I share very many similar passions, one being social mobility and one being education and improving our towns.

"I am a strong believer in social mobility, as a compassionate Conservative, and I believe the best way to achieve social mobility is through education.

"Having a very young daughter, I obviously want the very best education for her, but in doing so I also want the best education for every child in this country, and even more so from early years through to further and higher education."