THE city has never been more united than on the passport office, one of Newport’s MPs said at the rally on Saturday.

Newport West MP Paul Flynn warned that any political party which supports the closure of the passport office will become a “political pariah” in Newport and in Wales.

Mr Flynn was joined by Jessica Morden MP, Leanne Wood AM and Conservative council leader Matthew Evans in calling for Newport passport office to be left alone.

The South Wales Argus also won a round of applause when Alice-Louise McKeon-Williams, PCS branch secretary, thanked us for our campaign calling for the service to be retained in Wales.

Mr Flynn said: “Its not jobs cuts; its jobs butchery. It’s brutal, its crude and its unfair.”

Newport East MP Jessica Morden said the turnout was “overwhelming” and, brandishing her own passport which she herself had to urgently apply for last year, praised the office’s workers.

She said: “I had to get three last year at the office really quickly. I was just amazed at how efficient and friendly they were.”

Newport council leader Matthew Evans said he found the situation “totally inexplicable”.

“Newport has an excellent reputation as a public sector employer,” he said, saying he would fight “tooth and nail” for not only the jobs at the risk but all jobs in the city. “We are right behind you,” he said.

Paul McGoay, PCS passport service group president, told the crowd that the loss of 300 jobs would take “millions and millions” of pounds out of Newport every year.

“This will certainly be a disaster for this area,” he said. “There are one in three people working in the public sector in Wales and this is just a taste of the cuts to come.”

Both Ms Morden and Mr Flynn said they will meet ministers this week to discuss the matter, with a meeting planned with Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan on Thursday.

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