Clegg questioned about Autofil jobs

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Controversy surrounding an Ashfield firm’s decision to move 160 jobs overseas was raised during Prime Minister’s Questions in Parliament last week.

MP Andrew Gwynne questioned Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg about a donation of £34,000 from the managing director of Autofil Yarns Ltd, of Willow Drive, Annesley.

The news of the donation sparked a political row when it emerged last year as MD Anthony Ullmann confirmed a decision to move jobs to Bulgaria in order to protect profit margins.

Mr Gwynne told Mr Clegg: “Can he tell the house what he thinks of the fact that workers at Autofil Ltd have received news recently that as many as 160 jobs could be moved overseas.”

Mr Clegg told the House of Commons in reply: “Clearly, I cannot speak for Autofil. A company needs to explain its own business and investment decisions.

“Surely he would agree with me that it is time we cleaned our party funding on a cross-party basis once-and-for-all.”

The Annesley textiles factory made the decision to move the jobs overseas to Bulgaria and Italy as operating costs are much lower.

The firm said last month it may retain 40 jobs in Sherwood Park for research and development, supply chain, quality management, technical service and finance.

Anthony Ullmann, managing director at Autofil Worldwide, said. “Any funds donated to the Liberal Party are private contributions made by myself.

They are not donations from Autofil Worldwide and have no connection to the business.”