Parliamentary hopeful Ruth Smeeth promises to fight for Stoke-on-Trent North jobs

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A parliamentary candidate has promised to fight for better-paid jobs in Stoke-on-Trent.

Labour candidate Ruth Smeeth is hoping to replace current Labour MP Joan Walley as MP for the Stoke-on-Trent North constituency after the 2015 General Election.

Mrs Smeeth spoke to StaffsLive after figures showed that Stoke-on-Trent North was the third worst constituency in the West Midlands for people being paid below the living wage.

More than a third of people in the area earn below the living wage £7.85 an hour, a figure calculated based on the cost of living, and significantly higher than the minimum wage of £6.50 an hour.

Mrs Smeeth said that the statistics showed the importance of bringing “decent, well paid” jobs back to North Staffordshire.

She said: “When you include the added strain caused by the unprecedented rise in zero-hours contracts, we can see why so many local residents are struggling financially and are having to make horrible decisions about whether to heat or eat.

“If I’m fortunate enough to be elected as the next Labour MP for Stoke-on-Trent North and Kidsgrove my number one priority will be to fight for new jobs and investment and a better deal for hard working families across our community”

Mrs Smeeth will be standing in the constituency against Conservative candidate Ben Adams, UKIP’s Geoff Locke, the Green Party’s Sean Adam and independent candidate Craig Pond.

The seat has been held by Labour since it was created in 1950.

Joan Walley, who has been MP since 1987, announced she would be standing down.

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