THE man who has held Bolton North East for Labour since 1997 says he does not need Jeremy Corbyn’s help to win re-election.
Sir David Crausby says his focus is fighting a campaign on local issues and criticised the Conservatives for being “completely dependent” on the national political landscape.
Prime Minister Theresa May chose a church hall in Egerton to launch the Tory election campaign — marking Bolton North East, where Sir David won a majority of 4,377 in 2015, as a key target seat.
Government ministers Liz Truss and Sajid Javid have also visited Bolton on the campaign trail, while Mr Corbyn has mostly travelled to safe Labour seats.
Bolton North East has also been left off a map created by activist group Momentum, which tells Labour campaigners where their nearest marginal seats are.
However, Sir David, who backed calls for Mr Corbyn to resign as Labour leader last year, is unconcerned.
He said: “It doesn’t bother me. I am trying to fight this campaign on a local basis and I think that is the right thing to do.
“We are not electing a president, we are electing individual Members of Parliament
“I have criticised Theresa May for coming up here for 15 minutes and then disappearing, when we were out there talking to real Bolton people.
“That is the job that I want to get on with and is what I have done for 20 years.
“This election is about the people of Bolton deciding who their representatives are in Westminster.
“The Tories aren’t fighting on a local basis in Bolton North East.
“Their candidate was born in Huddersfield, lives in Bury, and stood in a by-election in Oldham. They are completely dependent on national politics in a way that I don’t think we are.”
James Daly, Conservative candidate in Bolton North East, said that Labour had an “abysmal” record in Bolton.
Mr Daly, who is the leader of the Conservative group on Bury Council, added: “My campaign is focused on improving the lives and opportunities of everyone in Bolton North East.
“Labour’s record in Bolton is abysmal and the town desperately needs new representation. It is telling that Mr Crausby is too embarrassed to invite his leader to Bolton North East.
“The one thing myself and Mr Crausby have in common is that we were both Bury councillors before seeking election in Bolton North East.”
A Labour spokesman said that Mr Corbyn had visited many constituencies across the North West, including in Greater Manchester.