AVERAGE broadband speed in the Hexham constituency has been named the 44th worst in the UK.

At a speed of 35.6Mbps, the constituency was listed in the 100 areas with the worst average broadband speed.

The data was revealed by Liberal Democrat leadership hopeful Layla Moran, who is calling for extra ultra-fast broadband support in rural areas of the UK, warning that hundreds of thousands of people are stuck in the digital slow lane.

Ms Moran wants the Government to prioritise improving broadband in the UK’s hardest-to-reach communities, offering increased subsidies for ultra-fast broadband in rural areas and for business rates relief on broadband infrastructure to be extended by another 15 years.

“Despite repeated Government promises, thousands of people across the UK are being left in the digital slow lane,” the MP for Oxford West and Abingdon said.

“Urgent investment is needed in boosting internet speeds in rural areas, alongside extended tax relief on new broadband infrastructure to ensure no household is left behind.

“People in rural areas are being let down by Governments in both Westminster and Holyrood who take their votes for granted.

“Under my leadership, the Liberal Democrats will champion rural communities in every corner of the UK, from the South West to Scotland.”

In March, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a £5 billion investment to introduce gigabit-capable broadband across the whole of the UK, following an election pledge by the Conservatives to bring full-fibre and gigabit-capable broadband to every home and business in Britain by 2025.