SHADOW Chancellor Rachel Reeves hit the campaign trail in East Lancashire today to urge voters to send a message to the Government on the cost of living crisis.

The 43-year-old visited businesses in Bank Street, Rawtenstall, before going canvassing with Rossendale Council leader Cllr Alyson Barnes in Grange Road in the town.

She admitted Labour had lost the trust of people before the 2019 General Election landslide for Boris Johnson's Conservative Party which saw Burnley and Hyndburn return new Tory MPs.

Pausing in Bank Street's Fresh Cafe Deli, Mrs Reeves told the Lancashire Telegraph: "I'm here because Rossendale is a council we're hoping to make progress with.

"I'm also here to talk to business owners about some of the challenges they face from rising prices for energy and supplies which businesses here in Rawtenstall are trying not to pass on to their customers.

Lancashire Telegraph: Rachel Reeves with Cllr Alyson Barnes in RawtenstallRachel Reeves with Cllr Alyson Barnes in Rawtenstall

"This is harder to do when prices go up more and more.

"Business owners here are worried that their customers because of the National Insurance contributions hike and because of the higher bills have less money for spending im their local communities.

"It makes no sense to be whacking up taxes on working people right in the middle of a cost of living crisis.

"That's why we need and emergency Budget, with a windfall tax on the oil and gas companies' profits to take £600 of people's bills and scrapping the hike in National Insurance contribution.

Lancashire Telegraph: Rachel Reeves speaks to local businesspeopleRachel Reeves speaks to local businesspeople

"Electing more Labour councillors in East Lancashire will send a huge message to the Tory government that the budget back in March didn't touch the sides in terms of what people need.

"Voting Labour in the local elections is a clear message to Boris Johnson and to Chancellor Rishi Sunak that more is needed.

"The cost of living crisis is the number one issue for families, for pensioners, and for businesses.

"The last election for Labour was our worst defeat since 1935. People lost trust and lost faith in Labour and turned away from us.

"In the two years Keir Starmer has been leader of the Labour Party we've begun to turn round those fortunes.

Lancashire Telegraph:

"When he became leader we were 20 points behind in the polls and we are now consistently ahead."

Mrs Reeves admitted Labour needed to make more progress, particularly in Northern areas like East Lancashire.

And she denied that a windfall tax on oil and gas companies would put up energy and petrol costs.

Asked about whether she enjoyed the responsibilities of being Shadow Chancellor after a year in post she said: "If the 'shadow' was taken away it would be my ideal job."