The leader of Britain’s train drivers visited the Forest to back the campaign of Labour’s General Election candidate Matt Bishop.

Mick Whelan, the General Secretary of the train drivers union ASLEF,  met Matt and local supporters at Lydney train station on Wednesday afternoon, and he was not alone.

He also had a cardboard cut out of Transport Secretary and Conservative in the guise of the title character from the book Where’s Wally.

He said: “Unfortunately I’ve only met Mark Harper once I haven’t seen him since December 2022

“We have made ourselves available consistently since then trying to solve the longest rail strike in history, trying to find a way forward to rebuild our railway, try and get prices down, put them at the centre of the green agenda, all things the Tories aren’t interested in.

I think Matt Bishop is a great candidate and I think the Forest of Dean deserves the representation it should have.

“We’ve had 14 years of economic illiteracy. You can’t go from 3,000 people a year using food banks to three million people a year using foodbanks.

“You can’t go from being one of the richest nations in the world to 14 million people in poverty and where work doesn’t pay anymore in the UK.

“The first thing for a Labour government is the New Deal for Working People. 

|”We will repeal the Tory legislation where we give workers a voice again and we will take away the artificial demarcations between young people and older people so everybody gets paid the same rate for the same job, 

“We get rid of fire and rehire and zero hours contracts and all the tings that are holding people back.

“The only way to do tat is to get rid of the Tories, get good candidates like Matt in and drive forward.”

Mr Bishop said: “It’s definitely a boost to have Mick here.

“We are quite aware there is an appetite for change in the Forest.

“The message I’m getting from people I meet is that they are going to vote Labour and hopefully that will come through