Miliband calls for Commons debate on Bombardier layoffs

Labour leader Ed Miliband has called for a debate in the House of Commons on the future of Derby-based train maker Bombardier.

Bombardier is cutting 1,400 jobs in Derby after losing a £1.4bn Thameslink contract to German rival Siemens.

Mr Miliband said he would "do everything he can" to fight the redundancies at Bombardier.

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond has said the train contract would not be reviewed or put out to tender again.

Mr Miliband also said delaying the Thameslink contract "may be a price worth paying" if it saved jobs at Bombardier.

On Wednesday, 200 workers, campaigners and politicians travelled to Westminster to put pressure on the government to re-think the decision.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionEd Miliband: "This is important for the whole country."

"Bombardier is not just important for Derby, it is important for the whole country because we want train manufacturing to stay in Derby and to stay in Britain," Mr Miliband said.

"I am going to do everything I can to support Bombardier and to support the people of Derby and try and make the government think again.

"Bombardier is too important to Britain and to Derby to let these redundancies happen and I am going to be doing everything I can to force their hand on it."

'Value for money'

Philip Hammond told a committee of MPs on Wednesday that 1,400 redundancies at the firm's Derby factory were "regrettable" and added that delaying the Thameslink trains contract would be unacceptable.

Unions have been urging the government to reverse its decision to make Siemens the preferred bidder.

The government said in June that the Siemens bid to build 1,200 train carriages represented the best value for money, and that it was following EU procurement rules, which do not allow where companies are based to be taken into account.

Canadian-owned Bombardier employs 3,000 people in Derby.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites