David Cameron gives no assurance over future of Portsmouth’s empty shiphall

Peter Axworthy at the OffBeet cafe

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  • Portsmouth South MP asks David Cameron when deal to bring Magma Structures to the dockyard will be completed
  • Prime minister fails to give proper response
  • Says government is ‘absolutely committed’ to ensuring hall is used properly
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NO clear answer was given by the prime minister today over the future of Portsmouth’s shiphall.

Portsmouth South MP Flick Drummond asked David Cameron when the leasing of the hall to composite structure builder Magma Structures would be completed, during Prime Minister’s Questions.

David Cameron has been unable to provide assurance over the future of shipbuilding in Portsmouth. File image

David Cameron has been unable to provide assurance over the future of shipbuilding in Portsmouth. File image

The government revealed before the general election that Magma, joined by BAE Systems, would be moving into the vacant facility to start work again following the decision to end shipbuilding in the city.

But Mr Cameron failed to address when the deal would be complete.

Instead, the prime minister responded by saying: ‘We are absolutely committed to ensuring the Portsmouth shiphall is used in the most effective way to deliver capability, to create jobs and to boost growth in the region.

‘The developments in Portsmouth at the moment are exciting - whether it’s ship servicing welcoming the carriers when they come to Portsmouth, or whether it’s the Ben Ainslie centre being constructed with government support.’

The developments in Portsmouth at the moment are exciting - whether it’s ship servicing welcoming the carriers when they come to Portsmouth, or whether it’s the Ben Ainslie centre being constructed with government support.

Prime minister David Cameron

Mr Cameron also congratulated Mrs Drummond on her appointment to parliament and said it was good to see Portsmouth being ‘represented by strong Conservative women.’

It comes after defence secretary Michael Fallon said to The News during a visit to Portsmouth that contracts with BAE and Magma had yet to be signed off - but assured it would be completed soon.