The Cabinet visits east England for first time

The Prime Minister and his entire ministerial team have held their Cabinet meeting in the east of England for the first time.

They got together in a board room at the BT research facility at Martlesham Heath near Ipswich.

Then David Cameron was shown super fast broadband that can help doctors monitor chronically ill patients from a distance.

The Prime Minister said: "It's very important to make sure that the whole Cabinet see what is happening here in this vital region for the the country's economy."

Life sciences were on the government's agenda; the east is the centre of the largest cluster of life science businesses in Europe.

Later the Prime Minister announced support for the industry, including £180m to support British medical research.

It is targeted at the funding gap that exists between laboratory breakthroughs and the point when a new drug or technology can be invested in by the market.

David Cameron said: "We can be proud of our past but we cannot be complacent about our future.

"I want the great discoveries of the next decade happening in British labs, the new technologies born in British start-ups."

Key visits

Ministers also visited key projects in the area.

Transport Secretary, Justine Greening, inspected huge new cranes in Felixstowe.

And it was quite a day for Colchester, according to its MP, Bob Russell, with four Ministers in three hours visiting the town.

Image copyright bbc
Image caption Prime Minister David Cameron visited Martlesham Heath near Ipswich

"I've never known a day like it," he exclaimed, welcoming the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, to the Colchester Institute.

Shortly afterwards, Defence Secretary, Philip Hammond, toured the Colchester Garrison while Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport visited Leisure World.

"Having one Cabinet minister in Colchester is excellent news, but having four all at the same time is astonishing. I guess it is an indication of the importance with which they regard Colchester," effused Mr Russell.

By evening they were all happily ensconced back in their Westminster offices... Ipswich's high tech industries fading to a memory but hopefully not a too distant one.