Chancellor visits Corby marginal on whistle stop tour

Chancellor Sajid Javid declared Corby a ‘battle ground seat’ today (Dec 9) when he visited a new logistics park in the town as part of a whistlestop tour in the final days before the election.

Europa's MD Andrew Baxter telling the chancellor what the Government must do to help businesses if Brexit goes ahead.
Europa's MD Andrew Baxter telling the chancellor what the Government must do to help businesses if Brexit goes ahead.

The Chancellor gave his backing to Conservative candidate Tom Pursglove who is hoping to see off close rival Labour’s Beth Miller and win a third election on Thursday (Dec 12). Corby is one of the marginals the Conservatives need to retain if they are to win a majority.

After arriving at the new Europa warehouse at the Midlands Logistics Park in Geddington Road, the Chancellor had words of support for his former Parliamentary private secretary.

He said: “This is a battle ground seat. There are many hard-working people here and they know we offer a strong economy rather than the paralysis of [Jeremy] Corbyn.

The Chancellor (middle) visited the Corby marginal as part of a whistle stop election tour of the midlands.

“Tom has been a fantastic local MP and has also been fantastic nationally as well.”

The hardline Leaver has worked his way up the ranks of the party since being elected in 2015. He won a 2,690 majority at the 2017 election.

Europa’s managing director Andrew Baxter made sure he used his few minutes with the Chancellor to let him know what in his opinion needs to be done to make sure Brexit does not damage business.

He said he had been in daily meetings about Brexit for the past year and his company had employed an additional 45 staff to try to deal with all of the Brexit eventualities.

The Europa logistics hub is due to open in June 2020.

Mr Baxter, who thinks leaving the EU will be good for business, said: “We are permanently in speculation about what the Government is going to do. We don’t want to speculate. It is pointless telling us a month before we leave the EU what we need to do and expect us to implement it. The Government needs to get negotiations agreed and communicate with business right from the beginning.”

The Conservatives say that if they win the election Britain will leave the EU on January 31 with a trade deal by the end of 2020. The Labour pledge is to have a second referendum, with the Liberal Democrats saying they will scrap Brexit altogether.

Mr Javid said in order to deliver what Mr Baxter wants the Conservatives have got to win the election. This is the second time the Chancellor has been in the county in the space of four days, showing how key some of the Northamptonshire seats are.

The firm, which does most of its business transporting goods between the UK and Europe, started building its mega warehouse in July and plans to open next June, with about250 jobs created.

Mr Baxter said up to 15 businesses would lease space from the Deutsche Bank-owned warehouse and there would be automated elements within the warehouse.

Lining up alongside the Conservative and Labour candidates at this Thursday’s General Election is Liberal Democrat Chris Stanbra.