PRIME Minister David Cameron came to Feltham today to visit delivery giant DHL and take questions from staff.
He stopped by the company's UK headquarters at the Great South West Road accompanied by Hounslow councillor Mark Bowen, who is the Conservative candidate at next week's Feltham & Heston by election.
Mr Cameron was given a tour of the facilities and escorted to the depot floor where a crowd of around 250 staff were invited to ask him questions.
He said: “It is great to meet people from the Feltham area and see first-hand the essential role DHL Express plays both in the local area and globally. Global export markets should be the next frontier for all fledgling enterprises producing great British products.
"That’s why I’m here today to understand the vital role logistics plays in facilitating international trade and to better understand the great work DHL Express has been doing to encourage UK SMEs to sell their wares to the world.”
The Prime Minister was put on the spot about tuition fees by a single mum worried about how she can afford to send her daughter to go to university.
And another staff member asked what advice the PM could offer to companies like DHL who are being hit hard by the soaring price of petrol. Mr Cameron responded that halted plans inherited from the previous Government that would have added 10p to costs, but stressed the UK needed to become less dependent on fossil fuels.
One cheeky questioner who had just celebrated his 43rd birthday asked Mr Cameron what his "chances are of retiring before I'm 80" in light of the recent rise in the retirement age.
The PM also had to defend the Coalition's plans for HS2 - the controversial high speed rail link proposed from London to the North of England which will cut a swathe through the Chilterns.
Mr Cameron spent around 45 minutes at the DHL headquarters before being whisked away to Brussels for crunch talks on saving the Euro.
Phil Couchman, chief executive of DHL Express UK and Ireland, said: “We were delighted to welcome Mr David Cameron to our offices in Feltham and showcase how DHL is facilitating growth for exporters of all sizes. Employees were inspired to meet the Prime Minister."