Union chief hits back at Portsmouth North MP’s claim over shipyard

HMS Brocklesby journeys through the Solent as it leaves Portsmouth Picture: Royal Navy

Minehunter HMS Brocklesby leaves Portsmouth for two-year mission in the Gulf

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A UNION official has hit back at claims he did ‘diddly squat’ to try and secure the future of Portsmouth’s shipyard.

Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt made the comment about Prospect union official John Ferrett after he said local MPs failed to protect shipbuilding jobs.

But Mr Ferrett, Labour parliamentary candidate for Portsmouth North, said it was ‘demeaning’ to everyone who campaigned on behalf of workers following BAE Systems’ decision to move shipbuilding to Scotland.

‘We had people from all parties who took part in the rallies and marches,’ he said.

‘The only person who chose not to support us was the MP for Portsmouth North.

‘She was in the best position to save shipbuilding jobs and she chose not to join us.’

He added: ‘I had innumerable meetings in the naval base and I sat down with individual members and represented them – people who I regard as friends lost their jobs in there and we were trying to get the best outcome for them.’