BRAINTREE’S MP has held crunch talks with a budget airline after it revealed plans to close its base at Stansted Airport.

James Cleverly met with senior management at easyJet to discuss the proposals, which could see the firm cut 30 per cent of its workforce.

The airline says it would continue to provide services to and from Stansted and is consulting with trade unions over the plans.

Mr Cleverly held discussions with bosses on Friday to express his concerns about the impact it would have on his constituents.

And despite admitting there was no easy solution, he insists a final decision on whether to close the base at Stansted has not yet been made.

In a post on Facebook, he said: “This would of course be a huge blow for Braintree.

“Stansted Airport is a major employment hub for people in my constituency.

“Whilst I acknowledge that some job losses in this area sadly may be inevitable due to the collapse in air travel stemming from coronavirus, we need to work together to keep our airports working and our workforce in work.

“The airline has committed to working closely with the trades unions and will conduct a full consultation before any final decisions.”

Mr Cleverly says he has also spoken with the Manchester Airport Group, which runs Stansted, to understand the struggles facing the aviation industry.

Stansted saw a 99.2 per cent drop in passenger numbers in May compared to 12 months before due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Despite the struggles in the industry, Mr Cleverly insists he will continue to do all he can to protect the jobs of residents in the district.

He added: “I spoke with Manchester Airport Group and the reduction in air passengers.

“They have seen a significant reduction in demand but are clearly committed to the local area and are working on ways to respond to these unique circumstances.

“There are no simple answers but I will continue to work to protect jobs and the economy.”