THE Liberal Democrats’ candidate for St Helens North has set out the issues he is prioritising in his campaign to be elected as MP.

Pat Moloney, a councillor in Childwall on Knowsley Council, is contesting the seat for the Lib Dems in the general election on July 4.

Mr Moloney, from Liverpool, whose background includes working in software engineering, set out the issues he feels are resonating with voters on the doorstep.

He said: “People’s standard of living has dropped in the last five years, the biggest drop since the Napoleonic wars, and we recently slipped to being the sixth largest economy, overtaken by India.”

Mr Moloney added: “I think the biggest event that affected people in St Helens is Pilkington’s being taken over, and I think that has been repeated across the country with local industries that have been taken over by a national company, or an international company, I think the effect on the local economy on losing that economic autonomy has been drastic.”

Pat said that “20 to 30 years into globalisation, people are realising it has got downsides”.

Mr Moloney said there is a need to “rebuild” local industry, acknowledging that is “not a quick fix”.

READ > General election: Full list of candidates standing in St Helens

“The move to a services economy in the 80s is a complete myth, you have baristas that replaced industries that had well-paid jobs that have been lost.”

Mr Moloney, 64, said: “Certainly over the last 14 years, the rich have got richer and the poor have got poorer. That’s not good for social cohesion.

“Brexit was a huge issue, I don’t blame the people who voted for it, they were promised things and the Brexiteers shouted down everybody, and Brexit has been a disaster. A four per cent cut in GDP, it’s slowed down growth and now, eight years after the vote, we’re starting to see consequences.”  

Mr Moloney also cited the National Health Service as a “huge issue on the doorstep”, adding “the right-wing have touted insurance for health, that’s the most expensive system in the world”.

He also emphasised the importance of education, saying it is something that “ can really make people’s lives better”.

He also expressed scepticism over academy schools, and a lack of “accountability.”

“I think we’ve had a lot of academic snobbery”, he added, stating apprenticeships in trades such as electricians, plastering and plumbing give “skills to set you up for a good income for life”.

Mr Moloney added: “I think accountability is important, I certainly want to listen to everybody whatever the issue.

“I think that’s important for any local representative and in my experience of being a councillor has proven that to me.”

The other candidates standing in St Helens North are: Jayne Rear, Conservative Party; Joe Greenhalgh, English Constitution Party; Daniel Thomas, Green Party;  David Baines, Labour Party and Malcolm Webster, Reform UK.