PORTSMOUTH MP Penny Mordaunt has said Prime Minister David Cameron is ‘actively pursuing’ points made to him over the future of shipbuilding in the city.
The News, joined by city leaders, wrote an open letter on November 14 to the Prime Minister stating a list of requests following the news that defence giant BAE would end shipbuilding in Portsmouth from next year.
Featured on our front page, the requests included a call for Mr Cameron to visit the city and to ensure work will be done in the dockyard on the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carriers.
Despite not yet receiving a response, Tory MP Penny Mordaunt has met with the Prime Minister to discuss points covered in the letter.
She said: ‘I had a meeting with David Cameron yesterday lunchtime, immediately after Prime Minister’s questions.
‘I discussed with him the points within the letter and we also discussed some ideas of work that had been mentioned with regard to the yard.
‘The unions have been very helpful in sending more information about other mitigating ideas.
‘We also discussed the longer-term plans about returning shipbuilding.
‘He is very aware of all that and is concerned about it and there are a number of things happening that he is leading on across Whitehall.
‘We are continuing to have meetings on this.
‘I will also be meeting with the Chancellor on this.
‘I am meeting today with some of the companies that want to come into the yard, with ministers from BIS. A huge amount of work is going on behind the scenes.
‘We are actively pursuing all points in the letter, and others which have been raised since.’
But Mike Hancock, MP for Portsmouth South who signed the open letter, has said it is discourteous that, two weeks on, a response hasn’t been sent.
He said: ‘I think we should have had a response by now and it is discourteous that we haven’t had one.
‘I have heard from a Conservative source that they are not very happy about receiving the letter.
‘But I am sure it was the right thing to do.’