Shadow Defence Minister Maria Eagle visits Raytheon in Harlow as Labour describe themselves as “the party of national security”

Elections / Tue 4th Jun 2024 at 04:27pm

THE SHADOW defence minister visited Harlow on Monday afternoon. Maria Eagle spent the morning at a meeting with Raytheon in Kao Park.

Raytheon UK is a technology company focused on Defence, Aerospace, Cyber & Intelligence and has been a key employer in Harlow for many decades.

Many will remember them as Cossors.

Maria Eagle and Chris Vince visited Raytheon’s centre of excellence and met its new Chief Executive, James Gray. The Raytheon UK team demonstrated their use of digital engineering, heritage of GPS anti-jamming and the latest in training transformation technologies including a VR experience.

They also met representatives from Employee Resource Groups and Raytheon UK’s volunteering ambassadors to talk about volunteering in the local community in Harlow. The defence sector in the UK employs 6,900 apprentices and Maria and Chris spoke to Raytheon UK’s Harlow apprentices about their career paths and experience in the sector. 

Whilst at the site Maria Eagle gave a short speech to congratulate the apprentices on their hard work. 

She also heard about Raytheon UK’s flagship STEM programme, – the Quadcopter Challenge. This programme has seen more than 2000 students and 130 schools take part in designing and flying a quadcopter.

Both Maria Eagle and Chris Vince presented some of Raytheon’s engineers with their technical honours awards.

Labour’s Maria Eagle, Shadow Minister for Defence Procurement said: “National security will always come first in the changed Labour Party.
“Ensuring the safety of our nation is the foundation of the stability that the British people rightfully demand from their government.

“In addition to our unwavering commitment to NATO, a future Labour government will implement a ‘triple lock’ pledge on our nuclear deterrent. This will provide essential protection for the UK and our NATO allies in the coming years, while also supporting thousands of high-paying jobs across the East of England.”
Chris Vince, Labour’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Harlow, said:“We need more high-quality jobs In the defence sector located here in Harlow. Companies like Raytheon UK have shown their commitment to our town and have helped to ensure the sector is providing thousands of jobs already here In the East of England.

“It was good to see some of the research and development work being carried out in the laboratories and workshops in Harlow. Through apprenticeships and STEM outreach programmes the engineers of the future are also being trained to build the technology that will keep this country safe and secure.
“Britain will be better defended with Labour. We’ll continue to support excellent local employers such as Raytheon in Harlow.” 

There are many on the left of the party who have always felt uncomfortable with Raytheon and their role as a weapons manufacturer.

The Defence and aerospace industry is worth £905m to the East of England making up 5% of total manufacturing GVA (gross value added) for the region. Average salaries in the sector are 22% higher than average regional manufacturing sector pay. 

We spoke to Ms Eagle in Hare Street as she was about to go canvassing for Labour candidate, Chris Vince.

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11 Comments for Shadow Defence Minister Maria Eagle visits Raytheon in Harlow as Labour describe themselves as “the party of national security”:

David Forman
2024-06-04 16:44:18

Another Iraq war type disaster on its way with a Labour government. They always find money for a war.

View from Afar
2024-06-04 17:37:14

Raytheon UK doesn’t make weapons

2024-06-04 17:49:07

Are Mr. Vince's shoes in need of a polish?

Guy Flegman
2024-06-04 20:20:48

Raytheon stopped being a key employer in Harlow in the late 80’s.. Their website has a section on weapons and sensors under “what we do” so it is safe to assume they still make weapons and IFF and guidance systems and all the other secret stuff they used to make

2024-06-04 20:39:28

Current labour leader actively supported Corbyn in his bid to be PM, Corbyn wanted to scrap our Nuclear deterrent, 11 shadow ministers have voted to scrap Trident in the past, quite clearly a labour government would be a serious threat to our defenses

David Forman
2024-06-05 09:06:22

Bobby, Chris Vince could probably do with a new pair of shoes judging by how scuffed the toes are. He wouldn't get far in the military.

2024-06-05 09:54:55

There is a certain irony in the claims that nuclear weapons keep us safe given if they ever get used we will all be gone!

Guy Flegman
2024-06-05 12:18:02

Interesting fact. Since the invention of the nuclear bomb we have detonated over 2000 globally and we are all still alive

Guy Flegman
2024-06-05 12:19:30

Forgot to add that all Labour politicians are required to wear flip flops to match their policy making.

Mark Gough
2024-06-05 14:47:02

Some very well made points here by David, Pedro and Guy. Don't forget the last Labour Government sent troops to Iraq, whilst also sending them P45s, and disbanding and merging historic regiments. Pedro makes a great point about their front bench and last Leader wanting to scrap the Nuclear Deterrent. This alongside Sir Flip-flop helping B.liar bring in Early Release makes this headline utterly ludicrous and laughable! Mark Gough -Leader Harlow UKIP

2024-06-07 19:53:11

Pedro . I agree with you completely, but how about this. Clement Attlee was in power when Britain got nuclear weapons, Harold Wilson was in power when he upped the amount of nuclear weapons Britain was to have , and Tony Blair was in power when our nuclear weapons were modified for the modern age and to keep up with other countries. Have you noticed they all have something in common. And Labour was trying to get rid of them when Britain hater Corbyn was leader of Labour.

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