ASPIRING councillors for Otley and Yeadon have been rubbing shoulders with the Shadow Chancellor.

Sian Gregory, Elliot Nathan and James Ranson met John McDonnell at the launch of Labour's election manifesto for Leeds.

The trio will be standing for Labour in the Otley and Yeadon ward at the Leeds City Council elections on Thursday, May 3.

Mr McDonnell was the headline speaker at the manifesto launch at Leeds Beckett University on March 29.

He took the opportunity to praise council leader Judith Blake and her colleagues for their work during 'the most difficult circumstances'.

The Shadow Chancellor also stressed the importance of the upcoming elections, when all 99 seats on the city council will be up for grabs.

Sian Gregory was one of the other guest speakers at the event, where she described what had drawn her to the Labour party.

She said: "I was inspired by the current leadership and Jeremy Corbyn’s ability to engage with people from all kinds of different backgrounds and ages, and in particular his ability to connect with young people.

"I have a teenage son myself and it’s been really encouraging to hear him ask more questions and show more interest in politics.

"If Labour is getting young people excited about politics, this is really positive for the future of our party.

"I’ve worked part time as a youth worker with young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, who have become disengaged at school and who risk missing out on education, training and employment altogether.

"I’ve met families living in poverty without carpets or a fridge. The sad truth is that this Government is failing so many people in our society."

Fellow candidates Elliot Nathan and James Ranson added: "Labour councillors in Otley and Yeadon would work as a team with Labour MP Alex Sobel.

"And we would be able to connect with Leeds councillors and officers to get a much better deal for our area."

The party's local manifesto can be viewed at .