THE Daily Echo’s Buy Local, Shop Local campaign has been praised in Parliament.

Hampshire MPs have joined forces to lobby fellow ministers in the House of Commons to show their support for the campaign set up to support local businesses in the county.

Hundreds of Hampshire shoppers, traders, and community leaders have already signed up to the cause.

Now Romsey MP Sandra Gidley, Winchester MP Mark Oaten, Southampton MPs Alan Whitehead and John Denham, and Chris Huhne from Eastleigh are all pressing colleagues to sign a Commons motion backing the campaign.

Liberal Democrat Mrs Gidley praised the campaign when she tabled the motion to the House of Commons over fears the recession would kill off many valued local businesses.

She said: “The Daily Echo’s campaign to buy local, shop local is extremely welcome, since businesses all over Hampshire will need our support if they are to get through this recession.

“The impacts have already been felt in my constituency – with the well known problems that have been faced by Ford and their workers.”

So far dozens of local firms throughout Hampshire communities have shown their support for the campaign by displaying the Buy Local, Shop Local poster in their windows and showing what they can offer to local customers through the Daily Echo.

Mrs Gidley added: “It is important in rough times that communities pull together. What better way to do so than to help our local farmers, shop owners and manufacturers, and to buy their local goods whenever and wherever we can?

“I urge all local MPs to sign up to this motion on their return to Parliament. I, for one, will continue to do all I can to support local jobs and to keep our businesses going.”

Southampton Itchen MP Mr Denham added: “Empty shops can be eyesores or crime magnets.

Labour’s ideas for reviving town centres will give communities the know-how to temporarily transform vacant premises into something innovative for the community – a social enterprise, a showroom for local artists or an information centre – and stop the high street being boarded up.

“The recession is going to affect all of us. We all understand it’s going to be tough. But we have two alternatives: do nothing, and let it run its course, or work together to do all in our power to give local people real help.

“I believe we should do all we can to help people through the recession.”

Daily Echo editor Ian Murray, said: “It is marvellous to get recognised in Parliament for this campaign. We have had great support from our local MPs and it has gone down very well with local traders and shoppers alike.”