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'Vulture' MP who wants Norwich off Colman's jars wins promotion

PUBLISHED: 12:05 10 January 2018 | UPDATED: 17:53 10 January 2018

Colman's Mustard has been produced in Norfolk for more than two centuries. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Colman's Mustard has been produced in Norfolk for more than two centuries. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2016

A Conservative MP who is demanding Norwich is no longer named on Colman's jars has landed a promotion.

Burton MP Andrew Griffiths who has caused outrage by suggesting Colman's should drop its 'Norwich' brandingBurton MP Andrew Griffiths who has caused outrage by suggesting Colman's should drop its 'Norwich' branding

MP for Burton Andrew Griffiths called for the famous label to be changed to read “Colman’s of Burton on Trent” after owners Unilever announced only 25 jobs would be retained in Norwich when the firm moves job to his constituency.

He said: “It would only be fit and proper to have ‘Made in Burton on Trent’ on the mustard labels, I am in contact with Unilever to talk about the move and will be talking about exactly this.”

And now during the government reshuffle Mr Griffiths has landed a job as parliamentary under-secretary in the business department headed by Greg Clark who came in for criticism after he turned down the chance to visit Norwich while the Colman’s consultation was ongoing.

Now Norwich South Labour MP Clive Lewis has criticised the promotion accusing Mr Griffiths of “circling like a vulture”.

It was announced last week that the Carrow Works factory would close in 2019 with production shifting to Burton on Trent and Germany. All 113 jobs at the site will be affected and 45 people could be made redundant. A new milling site in Norwich will see 25 new jobs created.

Mr Lewis said: “Just a day after Unilever/Colman’s announced its intention to leave Norwich and before the official consultation on the potential job losses ends, Andrew Griffiths was circling like a vulture over the jobs of Norwich workers.

“He’s keen to claim credit for 43 extra jobs in Burton but has nothing to say about the close-to 150,000 manufacturing jobs that have haemorrhaged from his Midlands region in the last decade.

“Griffiths is being made a Tory minister in a department that has failed to save a single job at Britvic or Unilever here. Now with the appointment of Griffiths crowing over their lost jobs, Norwich workers will have even less confidence that the Department of Business and this Tory government is capable of or willing to stand up for our city.”

But it seems Mr Griffiths’ calls are set to be ignored by Unilever. A spokeswoman said: “Our sole focus at the moment is consulting on the proposals we have made with our employees. Under these proposals mustard milling and processing will remain in Norwich and there are no plans to change our Colman’s branding.”

Mr Griffiths was not immediately available for comment.

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