ANDOVER'S MP Kit Malthouse has has paid tribute to the local newspaper industry and its role during the current coronavirus pandemic.

Local journalists have been classified as key workers for the public service they perform in reporting the news and holding authorities to account.

At the Advertiser, our team has been operating around the clock to bring residents news on the pandemic.

Mr Malthouse, the current minister for policing and former deputy mayor of London under Boris Johnson, said local newspapers help in the fight against loneliness.

The Conservative MP for North West Hampshire said: "Now more than ever, people need to feel connected to the community around them. "As we all endure isolation and social distancing, and the loneliness that comes from it for many, local media in particular have an important role to play in preserving those familiar links, the ties that bind us together as villages, neighbourhoods and towns.

He added: "So as well as providing vital information about the fight against this awful virus, they can help in the battle against loneliness and sadness, by pointing us to stories of hope and togetherness in the places where we live.”