Hampshire & Isle of Wight

David Cameron knew about Ford cuts before giving grant

Media captionLabour MP for Southampton Test, Alan Whitehead, asked David Cameron if he knew about the job losses before

The prime minister has said the government knew Ford was planning to cut jobs in Hampshire and Essex before it gave the company a grant.

Ford announced it would be shutting its Southampton and Dagenham plants last week with the loss of 1,400 jobs.

The news came days after Ford was given an undisclosed amount of money from the Regional Growth Fund.

Labour MP for Southampton Test Alan Whitehead asked David Cameron if he knew about the job losses before.

Mr Cameron said earlier in the Commons: "Obviously these issues were discussed and we work very closely with all the automotive industry companies in the United Kingdom.

"As I said earlier, the news from most of them - from Nissan, from Toyota, from Jaguar and Land Rover has been extremely positive.

"What happened at Ford in terms of Southampton is clearly very regrettable but we must do everything we can to help those people into work."

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