MANCHESTER, England, November 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Speaking in Manchester following the speech by Rt Hon David Cameron MP in which he praised the Co-operative Group and the Co-operative College for their leadership in developing co-operatively owned schools in the UK, Dame Pauline Green, Chief Executive of Co-operativesUK, the body representing co-operatives across the country, made the following statement:

"I very much welcome David Cameron's advocacy of the co-operative model of business. The last ten years have seen a renaissance of co-operation across the UK and it is pleasing when a leading politician like Mr Cameron recognises that co-operatives are a valuable and dynamic part of the British economy.

"Over the last four years the Co-operative Group and the Co-operative College have sponsored ten specialist co-operative business and enterprise schools, several of which are amongst the most improved schools in England according to the Government's league table, and are now working with two schools to become full co-operative trusts.

"With regard to Mr Cameron's launch of the Conservative Co-operative Movement, I made the point that there is only one Co-operative Movement in the UK. It has a combined turnover of some GBP27 billion and is owned by over 11.5 million people - 1 in 5 of the population - of all political backgrounds.

"I suggested to the meeting that if the Conservative Party wants to develop its co-operative concept to the full in this country, it should work together with the existing Co-operative Movement, which already has the experience and know-how, rather than reinventing something new, which would be a waste of time, energy and resources.

"I welcomed David Cameron's reply that the Conservative Party's intention is not to damage anything already in existence, or to set up something entirely new. We also appreciate his assertion that the Conservative Party is prepared to work with the Co-operative Movement, and his invitation to us to get in touch.

"As the national trade body that promotes and supports all types of co-operative, we work with all parties to develop the co-operative movement for the benefit of all its members and the country as a whole."

Notes to Editors

Co-operativesUK is the national organisation that promotes the interests of co-operatives and supports the development and growth of new and existing co-operatives.

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