MY WEEK IN WESTMINSTER

IT’S not every day that the Prime Minister comes to town.

So it was a great pleasure to see David Cameron visit BAE Systems at Warton last week, becoming the first Prime Minister to do so since Margaret Thatcher.

The visit was both a tremendous opportunity to show all that Fylde has to offer while also stressing the need for support for our vital aerospace industry in the North West.

And I think we did just that with the apprentices at Warton, people I know the PM was extremely keen to meet, making a special clock to showcase their skills and having a cup of tea with him in the Typhoon production hangar.

Senior executives, of course, managed to have a chat too but I have absolutely no doubt that it is the level of interest and enthusiasm from the young staff which will have most impressed the Prime Minister.

Those young men and women, after all, are the future of British aerospace manufacturing expertise, something that it is vital we continue to develop.

Exports, of course, remain a crucially important target for BAE Systems and the companies in their supply chain.

They are very important to help keep Fylde jobs secure and I know that efforts to secure deals around the globe remain a key focus.

The Prime Minister himself was out in Malaysia last week and I know that during his visits the subject of the Warton-built Typhoon will have been very much on his mind alongside the important diplomatic work he was carrying out.

His visit to Warton, therefore, was very well timed and, make no mistake, was a major endorsement for the workforce at the site.

The visit dates back to my first ever question to the Prime Minister in the House of Commons chamber in which I invited him to visit Fylde to see firsthand the expertise of our workforce.

He is a man of his word and I was delighted he came along.

Also this week we had one of the biggest events of our Fylde calendar, the annual St George’s Day Festival.

It was, again, a tremendous honour to be able to take part by walking in the parade and attending the raising of the St George’s Day flag.

Despite the rain, everyone seemed to be having a good time and full credit must go to everyone who took part and particularly the organisers who put on such a terrific array of events.

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