Question to DTI Secretary Patricia Hewitt


Richard Burden (Birmingham, Northfield) (Lab): Does my right hon. Friend agree that on the subject of investment, the proposed joint venture between the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation and MG Rover is not only vital for the west midlands but offers long-term benefits to both companies and both countries? I express my appreciation for the work that she and all Ministers are doing to bring the matter to a successful conclusion. I thank her for the Department’s statement that bridging finance could be made available within the rules. I ask her to confirm the comments of my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister yesterday that the Government will continue to do all that they can to bring the negotiations to a successful conclusion to the benefit of both companies.

Ms Hewitt: I thank my hon. Friend for his support and for his active involvement on behalf of his constituents. I can confirm what my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister said yesterday. My right hon. Friends the Prime Minister and the Chancellor, other Ministers and I are doing everything possible to bring this matter to a successful conclusion, and that remains the case.

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Richard Burden

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I was Labour Member of Parliament for Birmingham Northfield between 1992 and 2019 and a former Shadow Transport Minister. I now chair Healthwatch in Birmingham and Solihull, and the West Midlands Board of Remembering Srebrenica. I also work as a public affairs consultant. I am an effective community advocate and stakeholder alliance builder with a passion for human rights. I am a trustee of the Balfour Project charity and of Citizens Advice Birmingham, and a former Chair of Medical Aid for Palestinians.

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