David Cameron came to West Craven yesterday with a surprise birthday card for an 18-year-old factory worker and ended up defending the bed he slept in.
The Prime Minister was on the campaign trail when he visited Silentnight’s Barnoldswick factory and took questions from staff.
He started by presenting a surprised Robert Harrison, of Earby, with a coming-of-age card and a warning him to take it easy in the pub that night.
“I was surprised and pleased to get the card,” said Robert. “I don’t think I’ll be taking it out showing it around. I’ll just keep it safe. I haven’t made my mind up how I’ll vote.”
Mr Cameron also admitted to 45-year-old Karen Morris from Barnoldswick that he and wife Sam did not sleep on a Silentnight bed but another brand bought as a wedding present by his mother-in-law 18 years ago.
“After 18 years, I think it’s about time he bought another bed,” said Ms Morri. “I’d be happy to take the order from him.”
He had harsh words for Nigel Farage’s UKIP and promised that his government had an economic plan that would spread wealth and prosperity to the North-West.
He also backed Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans as Tory candidate for next year’s general election.
Mr Cameron attacked UKIP for representing ‘the politics of anger, not the politics of answers’.
He promised sticking with the Tory party’s economic plan would spread prosperity to East Lancashire to benefit go-ahead firms like Silentnight.
Tackled on Rolls Royce’s plans to axe 122 jobs at their nearby Barnoldswick factory Mr Cameron said: “I think the Conservatives are delivering here in Lancashire and the North-West.
“If you take the overall figure, there are 71,000 more people in work.
“The North-West has done better than any other area in the country in training and employing almost 300,000 apprentices.
“There are good signs of recovery here.
“In terms of Rolls Royce, obviously any job loss is disappointing but if you look across what’s happening in the aerospace sector with BAE Systems and other companies, there’s good growth taking place across the North-West.
“There is a very exciting expansion of BAE Systems in Lancashire and I know that there keen to take some of the people Rolls Royce might be letting go.
“Overall in aerospace in Lancashire I think the picture is good one.”
On whether Mr Evans should stand as a Tory in next year’s general election after his acquittal at Preston Crown Court last month on sex assault charges, Mr Cameron said: “That’s very much Nigel’s decision and the decision of the Ribble Valley constituency.
“Obviously, I’m pleased for him that he’s back in the House of Commons as a Conservative MP.
“He’s got great experience having been deputy speaker, and I’m keen to see him continue.”