Boris Johnson accused of hypocrisy over jobs agenda after outsourcing blue passport production to Poland

PUBLISHED: 13:33 08 July 2020 | UPDATED: 16:45 08 July 2020

Prime minister Boris Johnson speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London. PA Photo. House of Commons/PA Wire

Prime minister Boris Johnson speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London. PA Photo. House of Commons/PA Wire

A Labour MP has accused Boris Johnson of ‘double standards’ over comments he made about British jobs when it was pointed out the new Brexit blue passports were being printed in Poland.

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Warley Labour MP Peter Spellar told the Commons the prime minister had broken his promise to secure Britons ‘jobs, jobs, jobs’ - as he highlighted in his ‘new deal’ speech - by offshoring the production of British passports to a French company with a factory in Poland.

“It’s also good to hear the prime minister belatedly adopting the policy of jobs, jobs, jobs but does he mean jobs in the UK or in France, Poland, Germany, Korea, and China?,” Spellar put to the prime minister.

“It’s all very well announcing, for example, blue passports but those are now not being produced in the North East but by a French company in a Polish factory.”

He added: “So, prime minister, will you now take back control and give instructions to the Treasury, to the Cabinet Office, to Whitehall and Town Halls to actually buy British and protect British jobs, jobs, jobs?”

Johnson exclaimed: “Well, Mr Speaker, as my honorary friend behind me said, ‘what’s he got against Poland?’.

He continued: “We will create hundreds of thousands of jobs in this country and we will actively buy British and ensure contracts will go to British companies but what we will not do is turn our faces against the notions of international free trade and a market which has brought colossal wealth to this country.”

He added: “Those are the politics, the economics of the madhouse.”

Twitter joined in the derision after the MP’s question.

Singer Steve Brookstein tweeted: “Boris Johnson creating jobs jobs jobs and getting called out on British passports made in Poland (laughing face).”

MORE: Brexiteers fume over new ‘blue’ British passports which turn out to be black

Thom Brookes, a policy advisor for Labour, said: “Great #PMQs question by @spellar. Shameful that prime minister happy to see British passports made abroad. And worse to see new Tory MPs in North East all silent as jobs in their constituencies are lost.”

“Appalling response from the PM on the decision to offshore the production of UK passports which will cost 250 jobs in the North East. If this governments priority is jobs they should take back control of this & ensure they stay in Britain. #PMQs,” Jamie Dickinson pointed out.

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