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I welcome the right hon. Gentleman to his new post. I know that he is committed to industry and manufacturing, even if that did not come out fully in his presentation today. I also thank him for his kind note on my election as Chair of the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee, and I look forward to his coming to our Committee and to talking to him about his future plans for industry and manufacturing.
As a long-standing member of the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee, and as a Member of Parliament representing a constituency with an economy that is heavily manufacturing-based, and which is adjacent to the constituency of the now shadow spokesperson, my right hon. Friend Mr McFadden, I had many discussions with local manufacturers in the depths of the recession. Yes, they wanted our public finances cleared up, but the Secretary of State did not mention two other things that came through loud and clear: first, they wanted the level of demand in the economy to be sustained, as they depended on that to sell their products; and secondly, they wanted a range of individual schemes designed and tailored to support weaknesses within the industry, to preserve their future.
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