Praise from on high for city’s no-gripes go-ahead leaders

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HOUSE of Commons Speaker John Bercow met the “assembled glitterati” of the Milton Keynes business community on Friday and praised them for their upbeat attitudes despite all the economic doom and gloom.

Mr Bercow, MP for Buckingham, was guest speaker at the quarterly dinner of MK Business Leaders, attended by leaders from the academic, private sector and local authority world.

“Milton Keynes is not entirely representative of the country,” said Mr Bercow. “You are the pace-setters.

“There is an innovative character to the town which other parts of the country could seek to emulate.”

Mr Bercow, who has been Speaker since 2009, made a point of speaking to most of the people at the dinner, in Holiday Inn, Central Milton Keynes.

“The nearest I came to hearing a gripe was from someone who wants to maintain a competitive exchange rate,” he said.

The former Tory shadow Secretary of State for International Development told the meeting he thought it would be better for the government to invest in high speed broadband than in the £17.4billion cost of high speed trains through his constituency.

The 49-year-old MP does, however, support plans to re-open the east-west rail link between Oxford-Aylesbury-Milton Keynes and Bedford.

And although he claims to be “no expert in economics” he told the meeting that he believed party political differences in cutting the deficit were smaller than the hype the arguments generated.

He called for investment in education not to be “lost on the altar of deficit reduction.”