Dinenage presses Prime Minister over Portsmouth’s shipbuilding future

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CAROLINE Dinenage today pressed Prime Minister David Cameron to support shipbuilding in Portsmouth amid concerns about BAE Systems pulling out of the city.

The Gosport MP told Prime Minister’s Questions: ‘The potential loss of shipbuilding jobs in Portsmouth is a direct threat not only to the livelihood of 1,500 BAE workers, but a further 32,000 supply-chain jobs across the region and £28 million in income for my Gosport constituents alone.

‘Will the Prime Minister commit to doing all he can to protect jobs at this site which represents over 500 years of British shipbuilding?’

The question follows intense speculation about the security of the jobs at Portsmouth shipyard, after BAE launched a review into all its UK shipbuilding operations last month.

In response, Mr Cameron said: ‘She (Ms Dinenage) is right to speak up for Portsmouth. She is right to speak up for her constituency.

‘BAE Systems has not approached the government with any proposals...As far as I’m aware no decisions have been taken by the company.’

The Prime Minister said the government was committed to British shipbuilding, adding: ‘We are building the new frigates, we are building the Global Combat Ships, we are building new hunter-killer submarines, we are replacing Trident and we are building two new aircraft carriers. That’s a major punch for the Royal Navy that I strongly support.’