Louise furiously condemns Minister over BIS closure and asks 'Why have the Tories got it in for Sheffield'

Louise furiously condemns Minister and asks “why have the Tories got it in for Sheffield?”

Louise Haigh today forced the Minister to come to the House of Commons to account for their decision to close the BIS office in Sheffield – announced “out of the clear blue sky” yesterday without consultation with staff, unions or MPs and which move jobs out of Sheffield into a “combined HQ and policy centre” in London.

Louise and other MPs pressed the Minister to release the business case for the “BIS 2020” report, the driving force behind the job cuts in Sheffield and explain how moving jobs from Sheffield to London will help to save money? She twice refused to say how moving the jobs could save money.

Given there are further 40% cuts due at the associated agencies of BIS under the 2020 strategy, Louise asked the Minister to rule out job losses at the Insolvency Service and the Skills Funding Agency – both with bases in Sheffield and she refused to do so.

Sheffield Heeley MP Louise Haigh said:

“The Minister three times refused to answer how relocating jobs from Sheffield to a combined HQ and policy centre in London can possibly have saved money. That is one of the key justifications for the decision to rationalise services.”

“I and my fellow South Yorkshire MPs will be demanding to see the business case for the move – which must have been shared with the BIS board before being finalised. We will also be demanding to know what the remit for the cost-cutting specialists, McKinsey and Company was and whether it was – as appears – a decision taken in London for the benefit of London at the expense of Sheffielder’s jobs.”

“I was also shocked that the Minister refused to confirm that associated agencies – who are facing 40% cuts – are safe from closure. These include the Insolvency Service and the Skills and Funding Agency both based in Sheffield.

You can watch the urgent question here