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Doubts over 1,300 jobs

Vince Cable has raised doubts over the future of BAE Systems' historic shipyard at Portsmouth after the business secretary questioned the viability of a £150m project that would guarantee production at the site, and secure 1,300 jobs, beyond 2014.

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Doubts over 1,300 shipbuilding jobs

Shipbuilders working on a Queen Elizabeth class carrier at BAE Systems in Portsmouth Credit: Chris Ison/PA

The business secretary has queried plans to secure 1,300 jobs at BAE Systems' shipyard in Portsmouth. Vince Cable has questioned a £150m project that would guarantee production at the site, and secure 1,300 jobs, beyond 2014.

The dockyard has no orders beyond 2014, when it finishes work on the aircraft carriers HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales. Portsmouth North MP, Penny Mordaunt, has backed a £150m proposal to build two offshore patrol vessels, filling any construction gap.

But, Mr Cable told a national newspaper about the proposal: "I don't think it's a runner. It would only be a runner if there was a demand from the armed services."

Vince Cable Credit: Lewis Whyld/PA

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