Northfield MP Richard Burden has expressed his anger at discovering that he was not invited to the Longbridge visit of China’s head of state Premier Wen Jiabao.
Premier Wen attended the Longbridge MG plant yesterday, where he launched the new MG6 Magnette, to kick off his state visit in the UK. During the visit, Mr Wen was accompanied by Birmingham City Council leader Mike Whitby and deputy leader Paul Tilsley.
Yesterday morning, Mr Burden posted to his twitter account that he was “Heading off to MG Motor factory at Longbridge this morning for visit of Chinese Prime Minister.”
However, later that evening, Mr Burden tweeted his annoyance about the guest list for the event – he had not been on it. He tweeted that he had submitted a Freedom of Information request to the council regarding the guest list:
Mr Burden told Jon Walker of the Birmingham Post: “Frankly I find it hard to believe that the city council was not asked who would be the right local politicians to invite.
“This is about how we represent ourselves as a city and how we ensure we attract investment.
“As the local MP, someone who has been deeply involved with Longbridge for many years, it is important that I am able to be part of any discussions taking place with China, and to represents my constituents that way.
“As it is, this was just a chance for Mike Whitby to grandstand.”
A city council spokesman told the Post: “The guest list was drawn up by Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation and then approved by the Chinese Embassy. They did not ask us who to invite.”
However, according to the Post article, Deputy BCC Leader Paul Tilsley was added to the guest list at the request of the Council.
Read the full Birmingham Post article