Southampton Test MP Alan Whitehead has accused the The Prime Minister of ducking the question of whether he knew Ford planned to close their Southampton Transit factory before awarding them a multi-million pound grant through the regional growth fund.
Last week Ford announced an end to Transit van production in the UK putting 300 Eastleigh Jobs and the future of Fords Barton Park depot in doubt
During Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday David Cameron refused to confirm or deny whether he knew about the planned closures.
Speaking after PMQs, Dr Whitehead said:
“The fact that the Prime Minister refused to deny that he knew about the Ford closure before this grant was awarded raises very serious questions. If he did know, why did he not make support for the future of the Southampton plant part of the negotiation with Ford? At the very least some of this grant could and should have been used to help Ford workers now faced with redundancy.
“What is simply unacceptable is a non-strategic, silo mentality that clearly exists in parts of Government that says a grant awarded to Ford in Dagenham should play no part in negotiations over the future of a Ford factory in Southampton. If the Prime Minister signed off on this policy, of that then it raises very serious questions over his commitment to growth both in Southampton and across the region.”