Today’s visit by the Prime Minister is welcome, but there is still a very long way to go before we can claim to have secured a sustainable future for the British steel industry. I had a constructive telephone conversation with the Prime Minister this morning, during which we agreed that our shared aim is to ensure that the sales process is conducted in a responsible, thorough and robust manner, based on Tata Steel's promise that it will act as a responsible seller. Continue reading
Today the UK and Welsh Governments have announced a package of support including pledging taking upto a 25% stake in any takeover of Tata's UK Strip Products operations. UK Government Press Release I welcome this move from the British and Welsh governments. It is an indication of how far the British government has moved in recent weeks and months, indeed it is fair to say that it is a long overdue U-turn. This announcement has come as the result of the relentless pressure that Labour MPs and the steel unions have been exerting within and outside Westminster, exemplified by the fact that we have raised the issue 208 times in the Chamber since the General Election. Continue reading
Ever since Tata Steel decided to sell its Strip Products UK business I have felt that a management buy-out (MBO), based on the proposals that are outlined in the turn-around plan, was the right way to go in principle. But of course the MBO has to have the right team and the right financial backing, if it is to work in practice. That is why the due diligence phase of the sale process will be so important, and why I am very concerned about the tight time-line that Tata Steel has set out. It is vital that Tata Steel delivers on its promise to be a responsible seller, and that the government ensures that this is the case. Continue reading
Progress The parliamentary Labour party has raised the steel crisis in parliament 208 times since the general election. From urgent questions to opposition day debates to ministerial questions to PMQs and Westminster Hall, we have deployed every tool in the parliamentary toolbox to hold the government to account. But our parliamentary work is the tip of the iceberg. Community union’s Save Our Steel campaign has had a huge impact, playing out on our televisions, and on the streets of towns and cities all over the country. The Labour movement has shown, in no uncertain terms, that when we stand together we truly are the Voice Of Working Britain. We have shown, in stark contrast to the government, that we will strain every sinew to stand up for the 15,000 steelworkers and the 25,000-strong supply chain workforce whose futures are hanging in the balance. We have demonstrated the cost of inaction, and exposed the failings of free market dogma. Continue reading
My question to the Secretary of State for Wales about importance of retaining the order book and customer base at Port Talbot steel works: Stephen Kinnock (Aberavon) (Lab): What steps the Government are taking to support the steel industry in Wales. Continue reading
Stephen Kinnock (Aberavon) (Lab) Before I start, I want to pay tribute to the 13 steelworkers who are in the Public Gallery today along with the outstanding general secretary of the Community union, Roy Rickhuss. I also want to join the Secretary of State in paying tribute to Carwyn Jones, who has been doing a fantastic job. What a contrast to the British Government. Continue reading
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