A Tory MP piped up with a ‘solution’ for the lorry driver shortage - but was promptly shut down

A Tory MP piped up with a ‘solution’ for the lorry driver shortage - but was promptly shut down

A Tory MP has been roundly roasted for coming up with a ‘solution’ for the lorry driver crisis that didn’t quite hit the mark.

Following news of continued shortages in supermarkets and food-chains, John Redwood, the MP for Wokingham piped up to offer his two cents on the issue today. He said businesses should simply “recruit more” drivers and pay them more as well.

It comes after supermarkets and food-chains have struggled through a disruptive summer with staff shortages causing supply-chain issues causing chains to temporarily discontinue items or close stores. Nando’s, Subway, Iceland and KFC are among those affected.

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) has said that there is a shortage of drivers because of coronavirus forcing people to self-isolate and creating a backlog of people waiting to take their driver’s tests. They also note that Brexit has been a contributory factor - both because of new immigration rules limiting the number of qualified drivers who can enter the country and because it has led EU citizens to leave the country.

Industry bodies including the British Retail Consortium and Logistics UK have repeatedly called on the government to issue temporary visas and allow EU workers to plug the gap but the government has issued similar lines to Redwood and told the businesses to “invest in our domestic workforce”.

It is difficult to recruit and train lorry drivers in the midst of a supply-chain issue so Redwood was comprehensively roasted, including by businessperson, Deborah Meaden, for his rather long-term take.

Meanwhile, others wondered why a Tory MP was campaigning for businesses to pay their workers more.

Redwood is not the only Tory MP who has spun the wheel and chosen a cause and solution for the shortage at random, or at least it appears this way. Andrew Bridgen recently penned an earnest column blaming Tony Blair - a man who has not been the Prime Minister for 14 years - for the shortage, because apparently he encouraged too many people to go to university.

As a result, we are sure the owners of Iceland, KFC, Subway et al are raising a glass to toast the MPs for their help - if they can get supplies to fill the glass, of course.

The representatives of the people, ladies and gentlemen.

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