Future of Portsmouth Dockyard: ‘no excuse’ for Ministers

Today John Denham MP has expressed concern following reports that the Business Secretary has cast doubt over the future of the BAE Systems dockyard in Portsmouth.

The Guardian has quoted Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, as believing a project which would guarantee production in Portsmouth was ‘not a runner’.

The future of Portsmouth historic BAE Systems’ dockyard is already at threat as no projects lined up for after 2014.  Mr Denham is particularly concerned because many of his constituents, who formerly worked at Vospers Thorneycroft in Woolston, have gone on to work in Portsmouth following the Vosper’s closure.

This worrying development will worry many residents and businesses in Southampton, given a string of bad news and job losses in the area. Vince Cable and the Tory-led Government cannot just wash their hands of the future of the dockyard so soon after the announced closure of Ford in Swaythling.

Mr Denham said:

“With Ford, Ministers let Ford keep them in the dark.  But on this issue there is no excuse – they know what the problem is and they need to tackle it”.

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