Visit of top EU politician puts Greater Manchester on the map say MEPs

The visit of a leading EU politician has put Greater Manchester on the EU map, Labour’s North West MEPs have said.

MEPs Afzal Khan, Julie Ward and Theresa Griffin praised the visit of Socialist and Democratic Group leader, Gianni Pittella to Manchester last week.

Mr Pittella’s visit would further raise the profile of the region across the EU and showed that politicians in Europe really did want to help it to succeed, the MEPs said.

Along with Labour’s North West MEPs, Gianni meet with the Deputy Leader of Manchester Council Bernard Priest to discuss the benefits to Manchester of being in the EU and growing Manchester internationally.

He also hosted a discussion on islamophobia at the British Muslim Heritage Centre, gave an address on the EU to students at Manchester University and campaigned in the Manchester Withington constituency.

Speaking about his visit Gianni Pittella MEP, Leader of the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) Group in the European Parliament, said:

“It has been great to see the positive response from people. Every week I see how Labour’s MEPs are making a difference in the European Parliament, it’s great to see the difference they’re making in their constituencies.”

Afzal Khan MEP, said:

“It is a real coup for Greater Manchester and the North West to have a politician of Gianni’s stature visiting here.I know from talking to him afterward that he was really impressed by what he saw and what continues to be delivered by Labour politicians across the region.

“The publicity that Gianni’s visit will generate can only help boost the regions profile and attract the increased investment and jobs that we all want. It is further proof that the EU really does care about the North West and wants to see it continue to thrive and succeed.”

Julie Ward MEP, said:

“It was fantastic that Gianni took time out of his busy schedule to visit the North West region and see for himself how elected Labour members – councillors, MPs and MEPs – work hard to improve everyday life for constituents.

“Gianni’s visit gave him a good sense of the excellent progress Manchester has made both socially and economically, placing itself at the forefront of the regional devolution agenda and promoting inclusivity and opportunity via its focus on world-class education and research.”

Theresa Griffin MEP, said:

“It has been wonderful to have Gianni over in the North West this week and for him to see how the region has benefitted so much from European support and funding.

“He is a strong leader for the S&D group in the Parliament, where Labour MEPs sit, as we continue to fight for better working conditions in the UK, an energy union, more opportunities for young people and a sustainable Europe.

As we get ever closer to the General Election on 7th May it is good to have our colleagues support us from across the EU as they also know how crucial electing a Labour government is for Britain.”