Jeremy Corbyn visits the Ashfield and Mansfield area

Leader of the Opposition Jeremy Corbyn visited Kirkby today as guest of engineering company Van Elle.

Thursday, 3rd November 2016, 5:21 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 5:01 pm
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn talks to apprentices at Kirkby engineering company Van Elle.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn talks to apprentices at Kirkby engineering company Van Elle.

He was joined by Ashfield MP Gloria De Piero , toured the site and met bosses workers and apprentices there.

He said the company was a great example of a good employer which invested in high quality training.

Mr Corbyn said a Labour Government would make sure the region got the investment it needed.

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He defended his positive stance on immigration and said Brexit meant Brexit - but workers rights and market access needed to be protected.

He also said he got on ‘very well’ with Ashfield MP Gloria De Piero - who resigned from his shadow cabinet in the summer.

The Labour leader was asked what are the main problems affecting this area and what would he do about it if Labour were to win an election.

He said: “The need for investment and the need for investment in good quality jobs in quality engineering jobs like this.

“This company is a good example of what can happen when there is a well trained workforce with a secure future ahead of them.

“We will be introducing a national investment bank, we will improve the infrastructure and ensure there is a quality of spending and capital investment across the country.

“At the moment the East Midlands receives the least level of central government expenditure of any English region.

“That’s not right and its not fair because areas that suffered a great deal with the closure of the coal industry and other places that lost the steel industry, they need that investment so all those skills that are there are put to good use.

“Some of the people I have been talking to this morning are former miners who worked in the coal industry - very skilled people.

“Sadly the coal industry has gone

“They are now turning their skills to very high technology engineering and pile driving. Well done them.”

Gloria De Piero was the second MP to resign from the shadow cabinet in the summer - Mr Corbyn has since secured an even bigger mandate as leader- what kind of message does his visit send out today?

He said: “I’m working with all members of the Parliamentary Labour party.

“As a party we are absolutely determined to deal with the issues of equality justice and poverty in Britain.

“I’m delighted to be here with Gloria we get on very well.

“We have had a good discussion this morning about the industries and needs of this community and we are working very well together.”

On the decision by the High Court today that Parliament must vote on whether the UK can start the process of leaving the EU, he said;

“The ruling is subject to appeal of course and we don’t know what the appeal court is going to rule on it. But as it stands it means that parliament will have to take part in the negotiations.

“The bottom line as far as we are concerned is respecting the result of the referendum

“We are leaving the European Union, but ensuring our future relationship gives us market access and protection of the consumer environment and workplace rights we have gained through European regulation.”

A lot of the concerns of people in the East Midlands centre around a fear of immigration from Eastern Europe particularly Sports Direct and the situation which developed there.

Mr Corbyn has spoken recently of his support for immigration.

He said: “I’m appalled by Sports Direct and its behaviour.

“I am absolutely determined to prevent the undercutting of local arrangements and local agreements and prevent the continuation of zero hours contracts and the grotesque levels of exploitation of any worker whether they are from Eastern Europe or this country.

“And if we stop being the bargain basement of Europe and started to be the one ensuring there were good quality working conditions and decent levels of pay that would be of benefit to everybody.”