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Transport Secretary to speak at Chamber dinner

Hot on the heels of awarding the £1bn Crossrail contract to Derby trainmaker Bombardier, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has been confirmed as a guest speaker at the Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire Chambers of Commerce (DNLCC) 2014 Annual Dinner.

He will join after-dinner speaker Matthew Parris – the Times’ Parliamentary sketch writer – at the gala event on 27 March, which takes place at the Nottingham Belfry hotel. Mr McLoughlin has served as an MP since 1986, when he was elected Member for West Derbyshire. He held the seat until 2010 and was then elected to represent the new Derbyshire Dales constituency following a boundary change.  A former Government whip, he has been Secretary of State for Transport since 2012, but lists his political interests as agriculture and education. In Parliament, Mr McLoughlin has held several senior positions and served on many committees.

Born in Stafford, the son and grandson of miners, he was educated in Cannock, Staffordshire, and then went to Staffordshire College of Agriculture, at RodbastonCollege. From 1974 he worked for five years as an agricultural labourer and after 1979 worked at the Littleton Colliery, in Cannock.

He has been married to Lynne since 1984, they live in the constituency and have a son and a daughter.

DNLCC Group Chief Executive George Cowcher said: “We’re delighted that Patrick has accepted our invitation to speak at the Chamber’s 2014 Annual Dinner. “He is a stalwart of Government, having been a serving MP since 1986 and with the recent media focus on both Bombardier and HS2, any insight he might offer into these issues could be fascinating.

“Matthew, by contrast, has been named Columnist of the Year on more than one occasion and has been involved in politics since before Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister. I predict a fascinating contrast of style in what they’ll have to say and how they deliver it.

“The Annual Dinner is the highlight of the Chamber’s social calendar and provides guests with high-level networking opportunities with more than 400 business leaders from across the region and unprecedented access to Chamber Board Directors, Patrons and invited VIPs.”

The event’s headline sponsor is Central College Nottingham and it is supported by Futures Housing Group, Inside Out Management Group, Dunston Printers and NottinghamTrentUniversity.