Stephen Timms, MP for East Ham and Shadow Employment Minister, this week pressed Prime Minister, David Cameron, on job creation in east London.  In a recent speech, Mr Cameron supported the idea of a new ‘Silicon Valley’ in East London.  Mr Timms – referring to a pre-election promise to recruit 3000 new midwives which the Government has now abandoned – pressed him to take steps to make his idea happen.

Mr Timms asked: “I welcome the commitment the Prime Minister made two weeks ago to a new silicon valley in east London, but will it be like the promise to the midwives? Can he tell us how many jobs he wants to see created in east London, and what specific steps he and the Government will be taking to make that happen?”

Replying on behalf of the Government, the Prime Minister said: “First, I praise the people who put together the idea of "tech city" in east London, in terms of the number of businesses they have actually encouraged to commit to going there-Google, Intel and others. I do not think it is right for the Government to try to identify the precise number of jobs that will be created, but we have seen a huge level of enthusiasm, great commitment from Ministers, and a number of businesses committing to going to Shoreditch and the Olympic park, where there is a fantastic space for an incubator for new businesses.  I hope the right hon. Gentleman will help us to get behind that and create what could be a silicon valley for the east end.”

On the following day, also speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Timms pressed Business Minister Mark Prisk to set out what the Government would be doing to make the Prime Minister’s idea happen.  Mr Prisk indicated that the Government’s Regional Growth Fund might be called on.  Mr Timms has also written to the Prime Minister confirming his willingness to “get behind” the idea.

Speaking afterwards, Mr Timms said: “I welcome this idea, but it isn’t enough simply for the Prime Minister to make a speech about it.  The Government needs to take action to make it happen.  I shall be pressing the Government to make this promise different – one that they keep”.

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AuthorStephen Timms