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Wednesday, 17 September 2014

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Shadow minister arrives in Cumbria for talks to save 300 jobs

Shadow Defence Minister Jim Murphy arrived in Carlisle today for talks on the future of Longtown munitions depot.

Jim Murphy photo
Jim Murphy, shadow defence secretary, arrives at Carlisle station today

Around 300 jobs could go if the Defence Storage and Distribution Agency pushes ahead with plans to transfer storage responsibilities to Kineton in Warwickshire.

Mr Murphy was met at Carlisle station by Joe Hendry and Stewart Young, leaders of the Labour groups on the city and county councils respectively, and went straight into talks with union representatives.

He pledged to take the workers’ case to Parliament.

He said: “I’ve spoken to some of the people who talk about the high skill and dedication the workforce have.

“They shouldn’t have to pay the price for the Government’s ill-considered defence review.”

Mr Murphy was also due to visit housebuilder Story Homes in Carlisle today to meet apprentices involved in the Rookie Builders TV documentary.

The programme, which told how Story apprentices built a four-bedroomed house in Whitehaven in a year, was broadcast on ITV4 earlier this year.

Mr Murphy is the latest in a long list of national politicians to visit Carlisle in recent weeks ahead of the city council elections on Thursday.

Prime Minister David Cameron and Labour leader Ed Miliband came earlier this month while Chancellor George Osborne is expected this week.

Mr Murphy said the country was watching Carlisle.

“It’s one of the places that really matters,” he said.

Labour brought in canvassers from as far away as Newcastle and west Cumbria at the weekend in a final push to wrest control of the council from the Conservatives for the first time in 13 years.

They were joined on the campaign trail on Saturday by Roberta Blackman-Woods, Shadow Communities Minister, and Helen Goodman, Shadow Culture Minister.

Meanwhile, the only public meeting of the election campaign takes place in Currock tonight.

Brent Kennedy, standing in the ward as a Trades Unionists and Socialists against the Cuts candidate, is hosting the event at Currock House in Lediard Avenue, starting 7pm.

He says it is open to voters from all parts of the city.

Also speaking is Suzanne Kelsey, an NHS patients’ representative.

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