Prime Minister’s Questions


Q8. [23746] Richard Burden (Birmingham, Northfield) (Lab): My right hon. Friend will be aware that more than six months have passed since the collapse of MG Rover in my constituency. May I ask him to do two things? First, will he recognise the contribution that the taskforce set up by the Government has made towards helping the region and beyond to tackle the effects of that closure; and, secondly, will he recognise that there is still a large number of people who are without jobs, mainly concentrated in the area around the plant, and that they still face real problems? Does he agree that the south-west Birmingham area needs a

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major regeneration programme not only to help MG Rover workers still without jobs to get back to work, but to regenerate the entire community?

The Prime Minister: First, I pay tribute to the work that my hon. Friend has done for his constituents through the MG Rover TaskForce. I congratulate the members of that taskforce, because Advantage West Midlands, Birmingham city council, the Learning and Skills Council and Jobcentre Plus have pulled together in a remarkable way to achieve the result that he described. I am pleased that 3,000 or more ex-MG Rover and supply chain workers are now in new jobs, but we need to do much more. We will invest in the new science and technology park, but we will also make sure that the programme of support that we introduced for those workers when they were made redundant continues. We will also make sure that we put the investment into Advantage West Midlands to allow it to attract new jobs for the future.

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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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