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Battle is 'all but lost', admits MP.

BIRMINGHAM MP Liam Byrne admitted his sixmonth battle to save LDV had failed - and described the business's Chinese buyers as "asset-strippers".

The MP for Hodge Hill said he had done everything in his power to save the van-maker, which is based in Washwood Heath, in his constituency.

But Mr Byrne, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said the battle was "all but lost". He warned he had discussed LDV's future with Russian owners and Swedish managers - but was now in talks with Chinese asset-strippers.

Mr Byrne used his experiences as an MP to set out his personal political philosophy in a lecture for think-tank Progress.

He said: "I have all but lost a six-month fight to keep LDV, a great manufacturer in Saltley that dates back to 1845.

"For six months I have negotiated with Russian owners, Malaysian investors, Swedish managers, British bankers and now agents for Chinese asset-strippers.

"And of course, hundreds of local workers.

"It is a classic example of how fast capital, creativity, culture, now blow around the earth at breakneck speed - while communities stay rooted to the spot."

Mr Byrne said Britain needed a "strong state" to support families in poorer parts of the country.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Oct 21, 2009
Words:199
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