Opposition Question UK Government over Liberty Steel Crisis
Calling on the Government to intervene, Labour leader Mr Keir Starmer told the UK Parliament’s House of Commons "Five thousand jobs are at risk at
Calling on the Government to intervene, Labour leader Mr Keir Starmer told the UK Parliament’s House of Commons "Five thousand jobs are at risk at Liberty Steel with many more in the supply chain. The UK steel industry is under huge pressure and the Government's failure to prioritise British steel in infrastructure projects is costing millions of pounds in investment. Change this absurd situation to put British steel first and do whatever is necessary to protect those jobs.”
British Prime Minister Mr Boris Johnson replied that his government is actively engaged in talks with Sanjeev Gupta’s Liberty Steel and working on plans to save the company from collapse. Mr Johnson told parliament “I share very much the anxiety of families of steel workers who work in Liberty Steel. We are actively engaged.”
Rothbiz reported that Rotherham MP Ms Sarah Champion stood up for steel in the UK Parliament’s House of Commons addressing the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Secretary of State Kwasi Kwarteng and said "More than 5,000 workers at Liberty Steel, including 900 in Rotherham, are facing an uncertain future following the collapse of Greensill Capital. Will the Secretary of State now commit, as other Governments in Europe have done, to step in, if necessary, to safeguard this vital strategic industry?"
Mr Kwarteng replied "In my meetings with management and relevant union leaders, I have always stressed that the management plans need to be worked through. We are monitoring the situation extremely closely. The hon. Lady will know that I have a direct interest in the future of Liberty Steel."
UK’s Shadow Business Secretary Mr Ed Miliband also questioned the minister on the issue. He said "No ideology or dogma must stand in the way of protecting the jobs of 5,000 people and many more in the supply chain. This is a critical part of our national infrastructure and it is critical to those communities. Will he now do what he has failed to do so far and say that he will do whatever it takes, including public ownership if it is the best value for money choice, to save those jobs if it is necessary?"
Mr Kwarteng replied "The right hon. Gentleman will be absolutely aware that this is an ongoing commercial matter. He will know that I have seen local management, representatives of the unions and a number of people who are very, very keenly involved in the steel sector, and it would not be appropriate for me to enter into what is a commercially sensitive situation. My heart goes out to the workers. They are an excellent workforce, and Liberty Steel has a fine tradition in this space, but it would be inappropriate for me to enter into what are live, commercially sensitive issues."