Page last updated at 19:55 GMT, Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Gordon Brown speaks out over Fife Remploy factories

Labour former Prime Minister Gordon Brown has made a rare appearance in the House of Commons in a bid to save two Fife Remploy factories.

The MP for Kirkcaldy & Cowdenbeath called an adjournment debate on the subject on 15 January 2013 - his first Commons appearance in more than a year.

Remploy, which employs disabled people across the country, had its funding withdrawn by the UK government earlier this year.

The plants in Fife are among 27 due to close, with the government arguing the businesses are losing millions of pounds every year.

Mr Brown told MPs the two textile factories in Fife had been part of the industrial fabric there "for six decades", training and employing "thousands" of disabled workers.

He said they had full order books and a product with an acclaimed design and established market - arguing that the plants could survive if ministers agreed to a rescue package.

Replying to Mr Brown, Work and Pensions Minister Esther McVey pointed out that 29 factories were closed under his premiership in 2008.

The government has said it has focused efforts on getting disabled workers into mainstream employment.

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