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Anger as French win British medals contract

Ian Austin, Labour MP for Dudley North, has blasted a decision to award a contract for Birmingham-made British medals to a French firm

Ian Austin, Labour MP for Dudley North
Ian Austin, Labour MP for Dudley North

A Midland MP has blasted a decision to award a contract for Birmingham-made British medals to a French firm.

Ian Austin, Labour MP for Dudley North, raised the subject at Prime Minister’s Questions as he called on Mr Cameron to “get this scandal sorted out”.

Mr Cameron replied he “wasn’t aware of this issue” but would look into it.

Mr Austin said: “People in the Midlands are absolutely furious to learn that the Government has awarded a contract to make British medals to some French company.

“Imagine it, you open your Distinguished Service Order or your CBE and it says ‘Fabrique en France’. I’ve visited Midlands medal manufacturers in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, they are the best in the world. He should go back to Downing Street, call in the Cabinet Office minister and get this scandal sorted out.”

Mr Cameron responded: “The only point I would make to him, is I’m sure all of those in the Royal Mint in Wales would want to contest the fact that they make the finest medals in the UK and I’m sure the competition between them and Birmingham is very intense. I’ll certainly take away what he says, I wasn’t aware of this issue, but I’m always in favour where we can make something in Britain, we should make something in Britain.”

A senior Labour source said: “I was surprised the Prime Minister didn’t know about it, this Government has failed British workers time and again.”

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