LABOUR leader Jeremy Corbyn has become the party's first leader to visit the Borders in over half a century after hitting the campaign trail in Selkirk this morning.

Mr Corbyn, who travelled to the town this morning from Edinburgh with Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard, offered his support to Selkirkshire candidate Scott Redpath ahead of next week's by-election.

The Islington North MP also met with staff at Eildon Housing Assocation at Ettrick Mill, before heading to the town's High Street to chat with locals and grab a slice of Selkirk's famous Bannock cake.

In an interview with the Border Telegraph, Mr Corbyn backed calls by campaigners to extend the Borders Railway from Tweedbank to Carlisle.

He said: "The railway from Edinburgh to Galashiels is great, but personally I would like to see it extended all the way to Carlisle. 

"I think it was a catastrophic mistake to close the Waverley Line in 1969, and it needs to be reopened all the way.

"That can become a major spur for economic investment and devlopment across the whole region, and since the closure of Tweed industries, there has to be an investment in long-term sustainable jobs and investment in construction and infrastructure can be a spur to that."

Also standing in the by-election are Trevor Adams (Conservatives), Jack Clark (Liberal Democrats), Barbara Harvie (Green Party), John Mitchell (SNP), Kenneth Gunn (Independent) and Caroline Penman (Independent).

The Selkirkshire by-election will take place on Thursday, February 22.

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