Automotive Investment Organisation secures £457m for UK businesses

The Automotive Investment Organisation (AIO), created to spearhead inward investment in to the UK, has achieved £457 million worth of investment since it was established in June last year. As part of UKTI and led by CEO Joe Greenwell, the Organisation has already secured funding for 80 projects, securing 5,600 supply chain jobs.Speaking ahead of the Manufacturing Summit (19 June 2014), which brings together government and industry to discuss the challenges and next steps for the sector, Business Minister Michael Fallon said:“Manufacturing is driving the UK’s recovery and our vibrant automotive sector is leading the way in helping to create jobs and generate growth.“The Automotive Investment Organisation can take some of the credit. It has got off to a cracking start – beating its initial targets by securing over £450 million of investment and creating and safeguarding more than 5,600 jobs in its first year.”The AIO, part of UK Trade and Investment, was originally funded with an investment of £3 million over two years. It was created following a 2012 report by the Automotive Council, which found there was an additional £3 billion of new business that could be won by UK suppliers and overseas companies looking to set up or expand manufacturing facilities in the UK.Recent examples of AIO project successes have included Canadian car manufacturer, Multimatic, announcing a new £59 million investment project which will see the creation of 232 jobs in the UK.Part of Multimatic’s investment proposal will be a new research and development facility in Norfolk and a manufacturing plant in Coventry focused on the production of advanced composite components to support the development of lightweight vehicles.The AIO has also helped BorgWarner establish a Turbocharger Centre of Excellence and launch a research and development collaboration programme with the University of Huddersfield. BorgWarner has been able to secure a supply contract for JLR as a result of this investment. Both projects have resulted in more than 200 new jobs – with a combined investment of £26 million.”CEO of the Automotive Investment Organisation and former Chair of Ford, Joe Greenwell said:“The UK automotive sector is thriving and ‘brand Britain’ vehicles are recognised around the world as a mark of premium quality, reliability and innovation.“These first year results for the AIO are testament to the high regard in which the UK industry is held internationally, and I’m pleased we’ve been able to surpass our targets, securing thousands of UK jobs and hundreds of thousands of pounds of investment into the UK. I look forward to building on this in the weeks, months and years ahead as we continue to buck the trend across the rest of Europe by growing our car production.”The 2014 Manufacturing Summit, which is being held in Liverpool, aims to bring together more than 200 manufacturing business leaders to discuss with ministers the latest progress on the Industrial Strategy, upcoming challenges and next steps for the sector as government continues to put manufacturing at the heart of its growth programme.”Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) read more

Sir John Chilcot accuses Tony Blair of not being straight with the

first_imgSir John recalled his reaction on reading that: “You’re giving away far too much. You’re making a binding commitment by one sovereign government to another which you can’t fulfil. You’re not in a position to fulfil it. I mean he didn’t even know the legal position at that point.”Mr Blair said when the report was released that he took responsibility for shortcomings identified by Sir John’s report and felt “more sorrow, regret and apology than you may ever know” for the grief of those whose loved ones died.But he said he still believed he was right to remove Saddam and insisted that the inquiry’s findings should “lay to rest allegations of bad faith, lies or deceit”.Blair may face private prosecutionOn Wednesday it emerged a former chief-of-staff of the Iraqi army is seeking to bring a private prosecution against Mr Blair over the war.General Abdul Wahed Shannan Al Rabbat alleges Mr Blair committed “the crime of aggression” by invading Iraq.Alongside the former PM, the general has mounted a legal fight against two other key ministers at the time, then foreign secretary Jack Straw and then attorney general, Lord Goldsmith.Westminster Magistrates’ Court refused to issue summonses in November citing immunity granted to former ministers. Asked whether Mr Blair gave the fullest version of events, Sir John replied: “I think it was from his perspective and standpoint, emotionally truthful and I think that came out also in his press conference after the launch statement. A combination of still images from video shows former British Prime Minister Tony Blair speaking at an inquiry into Britain’s role in the Iraq WarCredit:Reuters The general has applied to the High Court in London for permission to seek judicial review of the magistrates court decision. Sir John Chilcot has said he does not believe Tony Blair was “straight with the nation” about his decisions in the run-up to the Iraq War.The chairman of the public inquiry into the 2003 conflict said the former prime minister had been “emotionally truthful” in his account of events leading up to the war.In an interview with the BBC Sir John was then asked if Mr Blair was as truthful with him and the public as he should have been during the seven-year inquiry. A combination of still images from video shows former British Prime Minister Tony Blair speaking at an inquiry into Britain's role in the Iraq War Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Blair wanted to exert influence on AmericaSir John also discussed Mr Blair’s relationship with the then US president George W Bush in the build-up to the war.”Tony Blair made much of, at various points, the need to exert influence on American policy making,” he said.”To do that he said in terms at one point, ‘I have to accept their strategic objective, regime change, in order to exert influence.’ For what purpose? To get them to alter their policy? Of course not. So in effect it was a passive strategy. Just go along.”center_img “I think he was under very great emotional pressure during those sessions… he was suffering. He was deeply engaged. Now in that state of mind and mood you fall back on your instinctive skill and reaction, I think.” “You can make an argument around that, both ethical and – well, there is an ethical argument I think,” he added.A spokesman for Mr Blair told the BBC that “all these issues” had been dealt with.The Iraq Inquiry report said that war was launched on the basis of “flawed” intelligence at a time when dictator Saddam Hussein presented “no imminent threat” and diplomatic options for containing him had not been exhausted. The report did not support claimsthat Mr Blair agreed a deal “signed in blood” to topple Saddam at a key meeting with George Bush at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, in 2002. But it revealed that in July that year – eight months before Parliament approved military action – the PM committed himself in writing to backing the US president over Iraq, telling him: “I will be with you whatever.” He replied: “Can I slightly reword that to say I think any prime minister taking a country into war has got to be straight with the nation and carry it, so far as possible, with him or her.”I don’t believe that was the case in the Iraq instance.”Sir John said Mr Blair made the case for invasion “pinning it on my belief, not on the fact, what the assessed intelligence said.” Sir John Chilcott Sir John ChilcottCredit:Reuterslast_img read more