Shameless Tories hailed a Chinese rescue of London's iconic black cab manufacturer today that faced closure after Britain's own government failed to step in to save the firm.
Hangzhou-based car maker Geely is taking over London Taxi Company's owner Manganese Bronze, which went into administration last October.
Union Unite, whose members spearheaded a major campaign to save the firm, hailed the buyout as a "testament to the skills of the workforce that build the iconic black cab."
The Chinese group already holds 20 per cent of the company and the buyout secures over 100 jobs at the Coventry-based firm where around 150 staff have already been axed.
Apparently without a trace of irony Conservative London Mayor Boris Johnson, just a short distance from where his party colleagues in government stood back and did nothing, gushed that the £11 million deal ensured "the continuing manufacture of a world famous, fully accessible and instantly recognisable vehicle synonymous with London."
Two-faced Business Secretary Vince Cable chipped in: "It's only right that the iconic black cabs will be produced in the UK.
"I'm pleased that workers in the Coventry factory will keep their jobs, thanks to everyone who worked so hard to make this happen."
Geely said it was "confident" of being able to create new jobs at the Coventry factory and plans new taxi models with improved energy efficiency.
It also wants to launch into the private hire market.
Unite, which represents London Taxi Company workers at Coventry as well as over 1,000 London cab drivers, said its had been in constructive talks with Geely and looked forward to a "strong working relationship."
Unite assistant general secretary Tony Burke said the deal was great news for British manufacturing.
"There were genuine fears that the future of the black cab was under threat," he said.
"The black cab is part of Britain's manufacturing heritage. The workers from Coventry and London cabbies led a fantastic campaign to keep it on the road."
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