Page last updated at 11:08 GMT, Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Debate on the future of Ford in the UK

Car giant Ford has been accused of "shabby" behaviour over its decision to close two UK plants with the loss of 1,400 jobs.

Southampton Itchen MP John Denham criticised the company for not being more open in their discussions with the government over their intentions.

"It will be a long time before any government sits down with Ford without wondering if they are telling the truth", he added.

Ford says it plans to close its Southampton Transit van factory and the stamping plant at Dagenham, east London, next year.

The Unite union has accused the company of "betraying its workforce".

The Transit factory in Southampton is Ford's last vehicle manufacturing plant in the UK, with production expected to move to Turkey.

Opening the debate, the MP for Romsey and Southampton North, Caroline Nokes, criticised the company for accepting a European Investment Bank loan for its Turkish production plant.

She urged Ford to fund and work with local communities to ensure the legacy of Ford's time in Southampton was one of "a highly skilled workforce filling highly skilled jobs".

Shadow business minister Iain Wright accused the Business Secretary Vince Cable of being "floundering and out of the loop", criticising the lack of dialogue between the company and the government.

However winding up the debate, Business Minister Michael Fallon said Ford had given the department "no opportunity" to discuss the decision.

He said it was the government's priority to do its best to help workers affected by the decision, adding that he wanted to see the Southampton site remain in industrial use.

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