Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn

One of the first jobs I ever had was working as a reporter on a local newspaper in Shropshire, and I have been passionate about their role in local communities across the country ever since.

Local newspapers are central to our democracy and I am very pleased to give my backing to this year’s Local Newspaper Week.

Local papers do so much more than simply keeping their readers informed. They are a glue that binds communities, celebrating local people’s achievements and accomplishments and, in equal measure, standing with them when challenges or obstacles arise. By reflecting the concerns, hopes and aspirations of different sections of the local community, local papers foster a spirit of understanding and cooperation.

 In this way, local papers will always make a difference to the towns, villages and cities which they serve.

Local papers are highly trusted and I am pleased to see the industry coming together to promote their credentials through the Fighting Fake News campaign. Through their unique insight to local matters, local newspapers can strengthen and promote democracy and the search for truth in the face of fake or fabricated news stories from other media sources.

 I should add that I am a member of the National Union of Journalists and I admire that organisation's work to defend local news. I am delighted to give my support to local papers during Local Newspaper Week and wish them all the best for the future.