David Cameron insists Government is helping Portsmouth

Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan at the Scrap The Cap rally, held in Guildhall Square

Hundreds turn out for Scrap The Cap rally

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The Prime Minister insisted today that the government was helping to bring investment and jobs to Portsmouth in the wake of the shipyard closure.

Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt asked David Cameron at prime minister’s question time if he could assure entrepreneurs that the city remains ‘open for business’ despite the announcement last year that BAE Systems’ shipbuilding operation in the city will cease.

David Cameron answers Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt's question  in the Commons today.

David Cameron answers Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt's question in the Commons today.

She said: ‘There is considerable interest from business in the maritime sector wishing to relocate to Portsmouth to make use of its facilities and its skilled workforce. What can the government do to send a clear message to entrepreneurs that Portsmouth is open for business and facilitate business moving to expand there?’

Mr Cameron replied: ‘I think my honourable friend is absolutely right to raise this issue. I think there are two things specifically that we can do to help Portsmouth.

‘The city deal that we should put in place that will bring jobs and investment. I think secondly is to emphasise the fact that this massive programme of modernisation of the Royal Navy, with the aircraft carriers, the type 45s and the future frigates - these are by and large going to be based at Portsmouth, creating jobs, making sure that it remains one of the most important homes of the Royal Navy.’

Ms Mordaunt was also meeting the Chancellor of the Exchequer today to talk about Portsmouth’s future in the wake of the shipbuilding decision.