Labour's deputy leader has backed its Copeland by-election candidate's "100 per cent commitment to the nuclear industry".

Tom Watson visited West Cumbria today to join Gillian Troughton's campaign trail, pledging to back the industry and tackle "government raids on workers' pensions".

The duo visited the Atkins Global office at Westlakes Science Park, meeting those in the Sellafield supply chain, in addition to union officials from the site itself.

Mr Watson said: "Gillian Troughton is 100 per cent committed to the nuclear industry; I wouldn't be here otherwise.

"We believe in civil nuclear, for this generation and for generations to come, and will be campaigning for investment.

"And worker pensions being raided is unacceptable; the workforce deserves better."

Mrs Troughton said: "I'm 100 per cent for nuclear; no ifs, no buts. We need new nuclear as part of an energy mix to keep the lights on."

On nuclear pensions, Mrs Troughton said the proposed changes are "unnecessary and unacceptable", adding, on Moorside, that the government needs to "speed up negotiations to make sure it goes ahead."

Others standing in the February 23 by-election to replace Labour's Jamie Reed are Trudy Harrison for the Conservative, Fiona Mills for Ukip, Rebecca Hanson for the Liberal Democrats and Jack Lenox for the Green Party.