John Denham, Labour MP for Southampton Itchen and Rowenna Davis, Parliamentary candidate for Southampton Itchen have spoken out about the news of shipbuilding job losses in Portsmouth.
Labour secured ship building on the south coast with shares of the destroyer and carrier programmes. Government statement today made clear that no efforts have been made to win new work for Portsmouth in the past three years and that they have agreed to transfer work from Portsmouth to other shipyards. Many on the south coast feel they have been sold down the river by a government whose interest and attention has been elsewhere.
The end of shipbuilding in Portsmouth is a great loss for the 1200 workers there, and for our country as a whole. Our thoughts are with employees and their families as this great 500 year tradition and all their hard work comes to an end. Labour worked hard to secure shipbuilding in the South of England, whilst this government has done nothing, following the same path as Ford earlier this year. Now our Royal Navy may be forced to commission work abroad or from a potentially independent Scotland. We should be protecting and supporting our skilled jobs, not letting them slip away.
1800 jobs will be cut in shipyards operated by BAE Systems across England and Wales, bringing shipbuilding in Portsmouth to an end.
Unions are to meet defence giant BAe Systems to discuss the future of the firm's three shipyards amid a review of its business.