On Thursday 17 January, the Defence Secretary the Rt Hon Gavin Williamson MP visited Barrow and Furness to speak to party activists.
Over the course of a well-attended dinner at the Olde Mill, the Defence Secretary chatted with activists new and old, and shared stories of his time in government - from being David Cameron’s PPS, to becoming Chief Whip and then Defence Secretary under Theresa May.
Gavin Williamson praised the ‘world class’ workforce in Barrow, calling them the ‘envy of the world’ and promised that a Conservative government would never let its commitment to the Yard, or to Barrow, slide. Highlighting Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn’s affiliation with the campaign for nuclear disarmament, the Defence Secretary made it clear that Labour could offer no such assurances and were a ‘real risk’ to the future success of the area.
It was fantastic to have the Defence Secretary join us for a relaxed meal and discussion. He gave an excellent speech and provided a commitment to this area that was warmly welcomed. It was especially heartening to hear the Defence Secretary praise Barrow and its workforce. He was right to say that the skill base here is second-to-none, and to commit continued support to the Yard.
It was only in December that the Defence Secretary opened the £25million Submarine Academy in Barrow and provided a £400million funding boost to the Dreadnought programme, securing over 8,000 jobs.