Craig Mackinlay MP visits protest-hit Defence Company in defiant display of support.

Craig Mackinlay commented: “Instro Precision are a cutting-edge company delivering first class products that will give British soldiers the very best battlefield equipment available.  Instro’s new facility will cement their status within our community as a valued employer delivering local jobs and investment. 

Not only do I welcome their move to Sandwich to what will be an incredible facility but I will be fighting for their bid to help upgrade the Challenger 2 Tank for the British Army.  I want our boys given the very equipment at every opportunity and I cannot say how proud I am that it is South Thanet that delivers it.

The protesters trying to bully this company from our area are shameful.  Frankly the action reeks of anti-Semitism and I’ve had enough of it.  These people travel hundreds of miles to come and intimidate local people and attempt to put them out of work.” 

On Wednesday, 24th August, South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay visited Broadstairs based defence company Instro Precision in a display of support for the protest-ridden firm.  The company have recently been the focus of protests from anti-arms group CAAT, ‘Campaign Against Arms Trade’.  In 2015 protesters from the group invaded the property staging a ‘sit-in’ on the roof of the property – a recent protest saw the factory closed to workers.  The protest group have also threatened Discovery Park with action due to its site being selected as the location for a new Instro Factory.

Protesters have claimed that Instro Precision manufactures components used by the Israeli Military – an allegation refuted by the company.  The company state that they do not manufacture any components for use in drones or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).  Despite the company’s assurances protesters have attempted to link the company’s actions to the deaths of Palestinian children in the 2011 Gaza Conflict.

The company now plan to move to Discovery Park in Sandwich to enable them to construct new parts for the British Army’s Warrior Infantry Fighting Vehicle.  In addition the firm is working with Lockheed Martin to bid for the upgrading of the Army’s Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank.  The new purpose-built 46,000sq ft facility is expected to create 50 jobs as well as safeguarding the jobs of the company’s 100 existing employees.

On Wednesday Mr Mackinlay visited the facility and was given a tour by two of the firm’s local employees.  He toured the sites manufacturing and testing facilities inspecting some of the firm’s hi-tech measuring equipment including the ‘Wasp’ tripod sight exported to the French Army.  The MP also examined Instro Precision’s new sighting system prototypes for the British Army’s Warrior Armoured Vehicle and Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank.