Britain needs to recognise that manufacturing is the glue which holds the economy together, a Midlands Labour MP has warned.

Richard Burden, chairman of the House of Commons West Midlands Select Committee, said it was time to learn lessons from the recession and admitted the Government had on occasions been too slow to act.

Mr Burden, who represents Birmingham Northfield, said: “If ever we needed confirming the importance of manufacturing, the experience of the last year shows that it is part of the glue that holds our economy together.

“Business decisions and Government decisions need alignment. The speed of Government schemes to help businesses were, at times, too slow and business does not work like that. Government, like business, must also understand the process of risk.

“We need to rethink the long-term relationship between industry and finance. We need to look at Germany, at the links there between finance and its manufacturing base.

“But in the short term there are lessons from this downturn compared to the downturns in the 80s and 90s.

“It has highlighted the need for active intervention.

£Keeping people in work is really important and it was not always seen that way in previous downturns.”