Leeds Central MP Hilary Benn criticises government’s Remploy closure decision

Leeds Central MP Hilary Benn has criticised the government’s decision to close Leeds’ Remploy factory.

Hilary Benn MP

Remploy, which provides employment opportunities for disabled people, is to close half its 54 factories, the government confirmed yesterday.

Maria Miller, minister for disabled people, told MPs that the £320m budget for disabled employment services could be spent more effectively.

But Mr Benn told South Leeds Life that the decision is a bitter blow from a government which hasn’t listened. He said:

“This announcement is a bitter blow to all the staff at the Leeds factory, and to everyone else who knows what a great job they do and how much having a job there means to them.

“It is a direct result of the Government’s decision to withdraw funding.This is the wrong thing to do, especially at a time of high unemployment. Where are the staff going to find other jobs?

“I will give the staff every support I can as they respond to this devastating news.”

Remploy’s Leeds city centre factory, which provides packaging, warehouse and distribution services, employs 60 disabled employees. It’s potential closure was announced several months ago and sparked an angry local and national reaction.