Boris Johnson: Man of steel

The Times Just over a month ago Boris Johnson discovered that he’s a Brexiteer. And only a few weeks later he’s come out as a Man of Steel. Two damascene conversions in one month. Could it be a record? Building on his well-established track record as a passionate defender of working people, Boris has cast himself as the saviour of British steelworkers, bravely doing battle on their behalf against the evil European Union. Ah yes, Boris has well and truly found the nearest telephone box, stepped inside, and re-emerged as a Man of Steel. It would all be quite amusing, if it wasn’t so serious. Continue reading

Boris is playing politics with steel workers' lives, says Port Talbot MP

Sun Tory bungler Boris Johnson has suddenly discovered he cares about British steel. Just as last month he suddenly discovered he was in favour of leaving the EU. This man’s opportunism knows no bounds. Boris was in Wales today, but he didn’t come to Port Talbot – I’d guess the closest the Blonde Opportunist has ever even come to my constituency is a Ken Clarke style drive-by. Continue reading

The Government's Response To The Steel Crisis Has Been A Mixture Of Incompetence And Indifference

From The Sunday Mirror With the steel crisis of this week we have seen the Tory government at its incompetent and indifferent worst, and it is my constituents and thousands like them all over the UK who are paying the price.  That Tata would announce that they planned to sell the steelworks was always likely. Of course we hoped that they would back the turnaround plan, that is why Roy Ruckhuss – the brilliant General Secretary of Community, the steelworkers Union – and I went out to Mumbai. We saw this coming, Mirror readers, thanks to the brilliant Save Our Steel Campaign, could see it coming, and the government should have seen this coming too. While Roy and I were meeting with and pressing Tata to accept the turnaround plan, where were the Business Secretary and Prime Minister? The Prime Minister was away, and Sajid Javid had jetted off to Australia.  Apparently it never crossed any of their minds to join our delegation to Mumbai. Continue reading

The fate of the British steel industry is in the Prime Minister’s hands

From the Sun on Sunday Web Link   THE fate of the British steel industry is in the Prime Minister’s hands. His words and deeds over the next few days will determine the future of our manufacturing base — and of our national security. Our focus for the crunch Tata board meeting last week was pressing them to back the Port Talbot turnaround plan. Port Talbot is the key supplier to a network of plants across Britain, so it’s impossible to talk about the future of Port Talbot without talking about the rest of Britain. That’s why the Prime Minister must get a grip. The worst-case scenario — full closure — was averted. That was thanks to the passionate Save Our Steel campaign of Community union, whose outstanding General Secretary, Roy Rickhuss, led our delegation to Mumbai.   Continue reading

Steel's not a sunset industry - it's the lynchpin of our economy

New Statesman The British government has been in a state of denial about the steel crisis, ever since David Cameron moved into Downing Street. They have time and time again failed to act. The steelworks at Port Talbot is the beating heart of my constituency, and in my year in Parliament I have seen a government that has a record of warm words accompanied by absolutely no delivery. It has been a litany of failure. In stark contrast to the government, the workforce in Port Talbot has always delivered. They have broken production records, and they make the finest steel that money can buy. And this bias towards quality, consistency and added value that we see in Port Talbot is reflected across the entire British steel industry: our steel produces a trade surplus, its investment in R&D, training of employees and productivity are all higher than the norm in the British economy. It therefore has an impact on the wider economy not only through the supply chain of connected industries, but also in terms of skills, employment and demand. Continue reading

As MP for Port Talbot, I believe Brexit would be disastrous for British steel

Guardian On Tuesday Tata Steel announced its intention to sell the entire Strip Products division of its UK steel business, including the Port Talbot works in my Aberavon constituency. It is impossible to overstate the importance of the Tata Steel announcement, on both local and national levels. Locally, the Port Talbot plant is the beating heart of the community and economy, and nationally steel is a vital foundation industry: it is fundamental to the cars that we drive, the homes in which we live, the offices in which we work, and the bridges that we cross. Just under 11,000 men and women are directly employed by Tata Steel Strip Products division, and once you take supply chains into account that number rises to around 40,000 jobs. So, it’s no exaggeration to say that the decisions that were taken in Mumbai this week were amongst the most important business decisions in our postwar history. Continue reading

Steeling ourselves for the future – the Government must now act to save Port Talbot

LabourList Tata Steel’s decision to seek a buyer for the entire strip products division of its UK operation will have a direct impact on up to 40,000 jobs across the length and breadth of the country. As such it is without doubt amongst the most important business decisions that post-War Britain has ever seen. I landed in Mumbai on Monday morning, as part of a delegation led by Roy Rickhuss, General Secretary of Community, the steel workers’ union. We had travelled to India to make the case for a turn-around plan for the Port Talbot steel works, a plant that has been the beating heart of my Aberavon constituency for generations. Continue reading

Steel - Poem

I have been sent this poem by a local steelworker. Fitting words as the Tata board meet and discuss the future of the plant in India today.   STEEL 750 jobs are to be lost from our proud steel works For the unfortunate few no more holidays or family perks They say it’s down to Chinese mass production But I’m sure our government is overcome with seduction   Politicians keep saying they hear our plight Somehow I don’t see them up for the fight Help we need today not tomorrow Before we all end up in a large pool of sorrow   Action we need before our industry goes Not let us get steam rolled by one of our old foes Give us a chance on a level playing field Then I’m sure we can compete and achieve our yield   Lots will suffer from these losses with pain As thousands of jobs are in this supply chain So when people ask how does the workforce feel The reply is just honest we were born to make steel

EU Action - Lesser Duty Rule And Trade Defence Instruments

My written Parliamentary question to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills on the Government's opposition to the European Commission's proposed reforms of trade and defence instruments and the lesser duty rule: Continue reading

Stephen Calls On PM To Join Him And Exhort Tata To Back Plan To Secure Future Of Port Talbot Steel Works

  Stephen Kinnock: I trust that the Prime Minister will be aware that there’s a critical meeting of the board of Tata in Mumbai on Tuesday, I’ll be flying out to Mumbai with the general secretary of Community union to make the case for British steel, that meeting will be deciding on the future of the Port Talbot steelworks in my constituency. Will the Prime Minister join me in exhorting Tata to stand with that plan and to secure the future of the Port Talbot steelworks? Continue reading