Keep Stockport Express in Stockport, says Clegg

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has supported the campaign to keep the Stockport Express in Stockport.

Clegg, MP for Sheffield Hallam, visited the newsroom this week along with colleague Mark Hunter, MP for Cheadle.

Plans to move Stockport’s journalists to the Manchester Evening News’s Manchester office were announced last month, along with 78 job cuts across the group.

Clegg described the situation as “very tricky” and said: “I want to do everything I can to help out.”

Hunter added: “If the paper is produced in Manchester it will end up being a pale imitation of itself.”

But group managing editor Stewart Rigby said a huge drop in advertising revenue was causing difficulty for the entire industry.

The two MPs have agreed to lobby for the paper behind the scenes, said National Union of Journalists mother of chapel Judy Gordon.

Hunter is one of six local MPs who wrote a joint letter to The Guardian to protest at the cutbacks in March.

NUJ members at the South Greater Manchester chapel also issued a vote of no confidence to Guardian Media Group owners the Scott Trust.

The NUJ is currently holding three ballots on strike action among journalists from South Manchester, North Manchester and the Manchester Evening News.

MEN media publishes 23 papers in the region, including the flagship daily. The main title will lose 39 journalists under the proposals – almost half the editorial team.

Office closures are due in Accrington, Ashton, Macclesfield, Oldham, Rochdale, Rossendale, Salford and Wilmslow.

The Stockport office will remain open, but editorial staff will leave.

The result of the ballots is expected at Tuesday lunchtime.

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