Cammell Laird: Government 'must save shipyard jobs'

Cammell Laird shipyard, Birkenhead Image copyright John Robertson / Geograph
Image caption About 200 jobs are are risk at Cammell Laird shipyard in Birkenhead

MPs have called on the government to intervene to see if hundreds of jobs at risk at a Merseyside shipyard can be saved.

Cammell Laird in Birkenhead has said about 200 jobs are at risk because of a shortage of new orders.

Unions representing workers at the ship repair firm held a meeting with local politicians to avert job losses.

Local MPs urged Westminster to protect British interests when awarding contracts.

Labour's Birkenhead MP Frank Field said the government must do more to ensure that work on military ships and other taxpayer-funded projects should "remain in the country" rather than be offered to European firms.

And he said care should be taken to make sure contracts go to the companies which are most in need.

Mr Field, who attended the meeting alongside fellow Labour MPs Alison McGovern and Margaret Greenwood, said: "If you look at Spain, if you look at Germany, their governments are pretty tough in protecting their shipyards.

"We're asking the British government to be as canny as European governments are in protecting the British interests.

"We're not resigned to the jobs being on the line. Cammell Laird should have a good chance of bidding for these contracts."

Wirral Council leader Phil Davies said: "Clearly there are ways that the government can offer more support. We know these yards elsewhere do get substantial contracts."

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