NEW analysis by the Labour Party reveals that 115 pubs and bars have closed in East Lancashire since the Tories entered government in 2010.

The study, based in Office for National Statistics figures, estimates 5,500 across the UK have shut, one every 14 hours.

This includes 670 closed pubs and bars in the North West, the second biggest in the country.

The analysis says 30 such premises have shut Hyndburn constituency (36 per cent of the total number), 25 in Burnley (39 per cent), 25 in Rossendale and Darwen (27 per cent), 10 in Blackburn (16 per cent), 10 in Pendle (19 per cent) and 15 in Ribble Valley (25 per cent)

Lucy Powell MP, shadow minister for business and consumers, said: “Pubs are a vital part of our high streets and social fabric in communities up and down the country. They have been hard hit by the pandemic and Tory incompetence over many years means many have gone to the wall.

“Ministers’ blanket approach to ending the furlough further threatens the future of 4,500 more pubs and bars in the North West. The furlough scheme must be extended for hard-hit sectors to save jobs now."

A Treasury spokesman said: “We have stood by pubs and the communities they serve throughout the pandemic providing targeted support including business rates holidays and cash grants of up to £25,000. The hugely successful Eat Out To Help Out initiative also helped protect two million jobs in the hospitality sector, and the industry is benefitting from a reduced rate of VAT until January 2021. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will have been open for eight months from start to finish with the government helping pay the wages of 9.6 million jobs so far."