A TOWN councillor and prominent animal rights campaigner in Cheshire is running to represent Middlewich in Parliament for the Animal Welfare Party.

Jane Smith, who is a member of Alsager Town Council, has been named as the party’s candidate in Congleton for the December 12 poll.

It is the first time the party has run in a General Election in any Cheshire constituency.

Psychotherapist Jane, who lives in Alsager with her family and two rescue dogs, has consistently lobbied Cheshire East Council to stand against the badger cull and is a coordinator for Cheshire Wounded Badger Patrol.

She said: “While Brexit will inevitably dominate this election, this is a crucial time nationally and internationally where real leadership and action is urgently needed on climate change and other extremely pressing issues – many of which have been pushed out of the legislative chamber because of the Brexit mess.

“We won't get that vital leadership from any of the mainstream parties, whose politicians look to their own careers instead of making the brave and bold decisions that are so badly needed by all of us at this time.

“Those decisions include huge infrastructural change to adapt to climate breakdown while trying to mitigate the worst consequences.

“We need to halt airport expansion and massively reduce flying, stop rampant construction (including HS2) and seriously address how we produce and consume goods – including a transition to plant-based agriculture that properly supports farmers, since animal farming is inextricably linked to climate breakdown.”

Earlier this year, Jane helped to organise a protest against fox hunting at Cheshire Police HQ in Winsford, addressed 3,000 people at the Global Youth Strike for Climate in Manchester, organised demonstrations outside CEC and took part in Extinction Rebellion protests outside the Bank of England.

She added: “At Animal Welfare Party we see people, animals and environment as an indivisible 'natural constituency' where the very best decisions are those that tend to the rights and needs of all three.

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“Tired old British politics with its 'business as usual' attitude is not only broken but dangerous - change is urgently needed.

“Now is the time to vote for progressive leadership that seriously addresses the huge issues that our country and our communities will be facing going forwards."