Cameron hails new supermarket jobs

David Cameron said today he is "delighted" by supermarket giant Asda's plans to create 12,000 new jobs over the next five years.

Prime Minister David Cameron meets staff and shoppers at Asda in Clapham, south London
Prime Minister David Cameron meets staff and shoppers at Asda in Clapham, south London

The Prime Minister, who was visiting one of Asda's stores in south London, said the move would "give people financial security for the future".

Doug McMillon, president and chief executive of Asda's US parent company Walmart, said the supermarket was "creating more new jobs and bringing real value to more customers in the UK".

The five-year strategy has the potential to create up to 12,000 new jobs in parts of the country where Asda does not currently have stores.

Mr Cameron said: " Supporting business, creating jobs and cutting taxes are all part of our long-term economic plan.

"Yesterday, our tax reforms cut income tax for 26 million people and will help businesses to create jobs.

"I am delighted that Asda is continuing to invest heavily in the UK, creating another 12,000 jobs that will give people financial security for the future."

Mr McMillon, who showed Mr Cameron around Asda's Clapham Junction store, said: "It has been a pleasure to meet with the Prime Minister today and reaffirm Walmart's commitment to investing in the UK.

"We know that the UK is a great place to do business and, since Walmart acquired Asda 15 years ago, we have been able to invest £8 billion in the UK economy - creating over 100,000 jobs, opening 342 new Asda stores and bringing lower prices to millions of customers.

"A seismic shift in the structure of the retail market is under way - not just in the UK but right across the world. Asda recognised the change in its market and took early action to develop and implement a strategy that will see it grow - creating more new jobs and bringing real value to more customers in the UK."

Mr McMillon, who recently took on the role of president and chief executive of Walmart, the world's largest retailer, is in London as the firm prepares to hold its first board meeting in the UK.

During the visit, customer Tara Leniston asked the Prime Minister to hold her baby, Luca Fowler, and pose for a picture.

Mr Cameron joked that it made him "broody" as he held the 11-month-old, who gently tapped the Premier on the head with an Easter bunny balloon.

Over coffee, the PM chatted with staff and later said the jobs announcement was good for the country.

He said: "We want jobs, jobs and more jobs and this is good news for Britain."