A CAMPAIGNING couple from East Lancashire - whose daughter was murdered - have backed the Labour leader's pledge to tackle violence against women and girls.

John and Penny Clough, from Higherford, successfully fought to change the country's bail laws after the murder of their daughter Jane in July 2010.

Jane had accused her ex-partner Jonathan Vass of rape - he later murdered her in the grounds of Blackpool Victoria Hospital in a frenzied knife attack while out on bail for the sex offence.

The Cloughs questioned why Vass had been freed to kill but made little progress with their local Crown Prosecution Service office.

John then contacted the office of Keir Starmer, then Director of Public Prosecutions, directly and arranged a meeting to discuss their concerns.

This would eventually lead to a reform of the bail laws, allowing the CPS to appeal court bail decisions to a higher authority, which was introduced in February 2012.

In an interview online with the Labour leader's team, Penny said: "It was about doing the right thing."

John said a friendship developed between them and when Starmer later began his political career he texted him to say he would "be a good Prime Minister".

Penny added: "It is simply because we knew what a good man he was. That he really cared for people. That it mattered that things were done right for people."

Vass was later jailed for life for Jane's murder, with a recommended minimum term of 30 years.

Starmer has made action against violence towards girls and women one of the cornerstones of his prospective Labour government.

In a post on X featuring the Cloughs' video, he said: "It’s my priority to end violence against women and girls.

"As Director of Public Prosecutions, I worked with John and Penny Clough to secure justice for their daughter Jane, tragically killed by her ex-partner.

"No-one should have to endure what they did. So we changed the law."