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Derek Robinson

I am very sad to hear that Derek Robinson has died. He was part of a very different era in the UK motor industry. However, I would caution against over simplistic or one dimensional accounts of why there was so much strife at Longbridge and elsewhere in the 1970s.

Both management and unions of the time carry their share of responsibility for the problems that the industry faced back then and both management and unions have a very different approach in today’s motor industry.

My political background is different from that of Derek Robinson but I know he was someone who stayed true to his beliefs about how best to represent the workers who elected him, and someone who genuinely wanted to see the motor industry get the investment it needed to succeed.

At a personal level, I did not know Derek Robinson well but I always got on with him when our paths crossed. My thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time.