A BARNSLEY MP is appalled after official figures showed a 25 per cent increase in local winter deaths.

Michael Dugher, the MP for Barnsley East, has hit out at the government after the figures were released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

They revealed that there's been a 25 per cent increase in the number of excess winter deaths recorded in the region compared to the previous year.

The latest ONS stats for Yorkshire and The Humber show that 3,000 people died unnecessarily last winter.

Nationally, the number of people who died needlessly in freezing weather soared to more than 31,000 last winter.

The vast majority of deaths were among those aged 75 and over.

Mr Dugher said: "It's appalling that so many people are dying unnecessarily in Barnsley and in Britain.

"We're set for another cold winter, energy bills continue to go up and up and A&Es are struggling to cope.

"Many of these unnecessary deaths are caused by people living in homes that are far too cold because they can’t afford to put the heating on.

"Despite this, the government still refuses to stand up to the big energy companies."