Liberal Democrats Leader Tim Farron

The Liberal Democrats have always been strong advocates for the vital role that local newspapers play within a local community.

They are a critical component of democracy in this country and, in the run up to the general election on 8 June, the role of trusted local journalism becomes even more important than ever.

At a time when political ideas and arguments are being intensely debated and challenged, people rely on their local newspaper to cut through the spin and present them with the unvarnished facts about their candidates and what they stand for.

In the run up to the general election, it is essential for people to be able to access trustworthy information and make well-informed decisions. By investing in high quality local journalism, local newspapers enable and support this process which underpins democracy.

Local papers report in ways that are particularly relevant to their local communities. Through campaigns they galvanise the community on key local issues, as highlighted by the Making a Difference campaign.  In doing so, local papers can produce real, tangible benefits for the communities they serve in a way that no other media can.

I believe passionately in a bright future for local newspapers and a free unfettered press because they are so important for our democracy.  Anything which impinges upon the ability of local papers to hold power to account must be resisted.

During Local Newspaper Week, it is right for us to reflect on the vital role played by local press in this country. Highly trusted local news is the bedrock of democracy and the Liberal Democrats will always do everything we can to foster and support it.