BAE Systems blasted over Brough closure plans

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BAE Systems hit a wall of opposition yesterday as 550 angry staff from Brough in East Yorkshire travelled to London to protest against its decision to close their town's Hawk jet factory.

Amid frequent jeering at the annual meeting, the chairman of the defence giant, Dick Olver, insisted he was "talking to a lot of people about how the site can be re-used" and said government cuts made it essential for BAE to reduce costs.

He also apologised on behalf of BAE management who nicknamed the closure of the Yorkshire plant "Operation Bosworth", in a nod to the War of the Roses battle where the House of York was defeated by the House of Lancaster's Henry Tudor. Any new Hawk orders will be met by two Lancashire sites.