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Save Vauxhall campaign heads for Parliament

Unite, the UK’s largest union, has arranged for a convoy of Vauxhall cars and vans to drive by Parliament today in order to showcase the best of British manufacturing.

The vehicles, all produced Vauxhall's plants at Ellesmere Port and Luton, are being driven to the capital by workers from both factories, as talks continue over the future of the car manufacturer in the UK.

The convoy will include the Astra, which is currently produced in Ellesmere Port, and the Vivaro which has been produced at Luton for the past nine years.

Unite is pressing for any sale of GM Europe and its UK subsidiary Vauxhall to safeguard the future for both plants.

Between them, they employ 5,000 workers with some 20,000 more in the wider components and supply chain also depending on the plants for a living.

RHJ International, the Belgium based consortium, is looking to buy the GM Europe business and has said it would keep the UK factories open.

Magna International and Beijing Automotive are also still in the running to acquire Opel and Vauxhall.

Unite is concerned that any buyer not only ensures that volume car-building continues at Ellesmere Port, but that the Luton plant, the UK's remaining premier commercial vehicle builder, is protected too.

Len McCluskey, Unite assistant general secretary, said that it was vital that MPs understood that the future of both plants still hung very much in the balance: "These workers are coming to Parliament today because they want MPs to show support for their fight not just for their future, but for the entire UK car industry.

"Vauxhall is at the heart of our car manufacturing in this country. An industry, entire workplaces and whole communities need it to thrive. It is vital that any deal done over the future of GM in Europe is the right deal for a secure and lasting industry in this country, which is why we are pressing for our government to carry on doing what it says it is doing and keep working towards a deal which protects our plants and jobs."

They vehicles are set to come down Whitehall and then circle Parliament Square.

The vehicles include a 2009 black Vauxhall Vivaro, a silver Vauxhall Vivaro mini bus, a red 5-door Astra, the Heritage centre van, 1966 Viva , 1970 Viscount, 1980 Cavalier,1982 Chevette, 2002 Vectra. All will be emblazoned with the Save Vauxhall logo.

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