Workers at MG Rover who lost their jobs after the collapse of the company could apply for a job at Tesco, work and pensions minister Margaret Hodge has said.

Speaking to the Wolverhampton Express and Star about employment prospects in the West Midlands, Hodge said that 350 jobs could be created at a proposed Tesco store in Yardley, Birmingham.

When asked whether Rover workers should apply for a job there, she said: “I am saying that some of the jobs are in Tesco and they will meet the needs of some of the unemployed and people looking for work.”

Rover workers and unions criticised Hodge’s comments, although the Confederation of British Industry said that flexibility in the workplace should be welcomed.