Workers’ pensions were the focus of a visit to a nuclear firm by Labour’s by-election hopeful Gillian Troughton.

Mrs Troughton, joined by Labour MP for North Durham Kevan Jones, visited James Fisher Nuclear in Egremont, to show her support to the nuclear industry.

A hot topic was the proposed changes to the NDA pensions of 11,000 workers across its 19 sites, including Sellafield, the Low Level Waste Repository near Drigg and the International Nuclear Services and Westlakes Science Park at Moor Row.

After a tour of the facilities, Mrs Troughton met with union members to discuss their concerns over the threats, as well as the Government’s handling of Moorside.

“I’ve met with unions to talk about the shameless Tory pilfering of Sellafield workers’ pensions,” she said. “The Tories are literally taking money out of the people’s pockets.”

She also commented on the Moorside nuclear facility, which has been thrown into chaos after one of the consortium behind the scheme, Toshiba, revealed huge losses.

“Moorside and the thousands of jobs that come with it are hanging in the balance due to Tory inaction and uncertainty,” she said.

“People of Copeland want answers. Labour would guarantee investment for Moorside to secure long-term jobs for the area.”

Mr Jones added: “I’ve seen first-hand in Durham just what the Tories can do to a community when given free reign and the Sellafield pensions could just be the start.

“Only a vote for Labour would ensure an MP that would fight for workers’ rights.”

However, Conservative MP John Stevenson, has disputed these claims, saying that his government is the “first in a generation” to be investing in the future of nuclear power.

He said: “ It is all very well Labour offering a blank cheque for Moorside during this by-election but the reality is they are led by a man who not only refused to back the project five times in a single interview, but has spent his career campaigning against nuclear power. This is just more Labour scaremongering.

“Trudy Harrison (the Conservative by-election candidate) started her career at Sellafield and, with her husband employed there now, she knows first-hand how important the nuclear industry is to our local economy.

“She’s the only candidate who will work with the Government to ensure that a new nuclear plant at Moorside, and the 21,000 jobs created by it, comes to Cumbria.”