AN annual reading campaign which looks to boost children's literacy rates has been launched.

Witham MP Priti Patel launched her Get Witham Reading campaign for 2019 during a visit to Powers Hall Academy, in Witham.

So far eight primary schools in the Witham constituency - Powers Hall, Templars, Silver End, Howbridge, Terling, Tiptree Heath, St Luke’s (Tiptree) and White Notley - have signed up.

It is the eighth year the event is taking place and will see each school choose their own theme with every pupil at the schools receiving a certificate.

One pupil from each school, nominated by each school, will also receive a trophy for their improved reading skills in July.

Ms Patel said: "It is my pleasure and privilege to hold this campaign every year.

"There is no greater gift that you can give to a young person than the ability to read.

"I am delighted that over the last seven years, literacy standards in my constituency have improved and are now above the national average.

"I consider this to be one of the most important achievements of my time as the MP for Witham and I would encourage more local schools to sign up for this year’s campaign."