I paid tribute to Tata Steel’s workers & management, and the emergency services for their response to the recent explosion at the Port Talbot works. I was also pleased the Secretary of State, Greg Clark MP, agreed he and Andrew Stephenson will meet our Steel APPG to discuss Steel Sector Deal. Progress needed!
Stephen Kinnock: I am sure the House will wish to join me in paying tribute to the management, the workforce and the emergency services who dealt so effectively with the explosion at the steelworks in my constituency on Friday. We wish the two men who received minor injuries all the best.
The predecessor of the Under-Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the hon. Member for Pendle (Andrew Stephenson) promised the last meeting of the all-party parliamentary group on steel and metal-related industries that he would host a meeting of steel sector stakeholders, supply chains and steel MPs to discuss the failure to develop a steel sector deal. Will the Minister now commit to honouring that commitment and to meeting us as soon as possible?
Greg Clark: First, I join the hon. Gentleman in paying tribute to the workers at Port Talbot and to the emergency services, which responded with characteristic bravery and dispatch to deal with that very worrying incident. The Under-Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, my hon. Friend the Member for Pendle (Andrew Stephenson), and I spoke to the company and the trade unions the next morning, and we are all relieved that the situation was not worse. Of course, we send our sympathies to the workers affected.
As the hon. Member for Aberavon (Stephen Kinnock) knows from an earlier answer, we are clear on the importance of the steel sector for the future of manufacturing generally, and I take a personal interest. These are early days for the Under-Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, my hon. Friend the Member for Pendle, but I know he shares my enthusiasm, and perhaps we can both come to that meeting.