AN MP has said he is 'absolutely devastated' following a decision to give the Tyne and Wear Metro contract to an overseas firm.

Sedgefield MP Paul Howell has spoken out after it was announced Newton Aycliffe-based Hitachi has been overlooked for the £362m deal.

Nexus, the public body which owns and manages the Tyne and Wear Metro confirmed Stadler, the Swiss train builder currently delivering new trains for Glasgow and Liverpool will build the new fleet of Metro trains.

Mr Howell said: "I am absolutely devastated that these trains are not going to be built in the North-East. With the factory located in my constituency, I know Hitachi are hugely disappointed they were unsuccessful in this highly competitive bid.

"However, it is important to note that they recently won two considerable orders – East Midlands Railway and Avanti West Coast Partnership."

"I am arranging a meeting between Hitachi senior management and the Secretary of State, Andrea Leadsom to help them lobby for changes in procurement policies. Particularly to take more account of the socio economic benefits of UK based manufacturing. As ever, I will keep constituents updated on this situation."