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The battle is on to save Britain’s steel industry

The United Kingdom’s business secretary Sajid Javid is to update parliament this week on the battle to save the UK’s steel industry. The crisis in the sector has seen the threat of plant closures looming in Scunthorpe and Port Talbot.

Javid is hoping to announce to fellow MPs that Tata’s Scunthorpe steelworks, which have been on the market since 2014, have been taken over by Greybull Capital.

The business secretary has been under major pressure over the steel crisis and he will also aim to provide an update on whether there has been any progress in securing an investor for the rest of Tata’s UK operation, with 40,000 jobs potentially at risk.

Emergency meetings have been taking place and Javid recently visited the Tata chairman, Cyrus Mistry in Mumbai after the firm announced it would dispose of its British assets, which are costing the business £2.5m a day.

Javid believes he may have a potential buyer in the shape of Sanjeev Gupta, the executive chairman of Liberty House.

Steel unions would welcome positive news for the industry regarding the Scunthorpe deal and also hope that the long term future of Tata’s main steelworks at Port Talbot, which employ 15,000 people, can be secured.

Stephen Doughty, MP for Cardiff South and Penarth, delivered a firm message on the subject and was quoted in the Guardian saying: “The question on the lips of steel MPs will be whether Sajid Javid will put anything new or substantive on the table to help save our steel industry, or whether it will be just more warm words like we have seen so many times in the past.”

“Has all the belated jetsetting of him and the foreign secretary in recent days secured any real commitments? Or were they just a last-ditch attempt to look busy and make up for months of failure?”

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joe@custard.co.uk'

John Hampton

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