Wednesday, 20 Oct 2021

‘Put British back in steel!’ PM under pressure to deliver Brexit promise to fund industry

Johnson urged to 'put the British back in steel' by Lelliott

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Rotherham Labour councillor Denise Lelliott demanded that Boris Johnson “do something and do it now” for British steel now the country is in a post-Brexit world. She called on the prime minister to pump money into the quality steel produced in the UK and get behind British workers in the same way GFG Alliance, the owner of steel giant Liberty, has done with a brand new £50m cash injection that will enable steel production to restart in Rotherham, saving hundreds of jobs.

Speaking to GB News, Ms Lelliott said: “I want Boris and I want Boris’ government to invest in our steel industry in Rotherham and the United Kingdom.”

Ms Lelliott went on to highlight Rotherham’s rich steel heritage and identity before slamming how Mr Johnson “needs to remember that” if he is to deliver on a raft of post-Brexit promises to British industry.

She explained: “When they came out with Brexit what they said was British jobs for British people…

“Our hands are tied because of competition law in Europe.”

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The Labour councillor slammed: “Well your hands are untied now Boris, so do something and do it now!”

The passionate Rotherham politician was then questioned whether the steel industry is actually a sustainable one given soaring competition from cheap Chinese and Indian steel.

Ms Lelliott hit back insisting it was but only if the government step in and deliver a sustainable plan for the British steel industry.

She said the plan must also be followed by an uptick in investment and support if the industry is to have any future or chance at success.

Liberty Steel: Boris Johnson discusses British steel industry

The councillor went on to throw her full support behind British steel and stressed there will be major benefits to boosting the industry,

She said: “We produce quality steel… throughout the world, it is recognised.

“What we want is a government that is committed to quality steel and to our industry.”

And in a passionate conclusion, she slammed how the prime minister needs to “put the British back in steel” and realise the opportunities that await if the correct measures are implemented. 

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The £50m cash injection at Liberty Steel is part of a wider restructuring of Liberty’s owner, it also involves Liberty Primary Metals Australia.

The injection follows months of uncertainty at Liberty triggered by the collapse of Greensill Capital, the firm of disgraced chum of David Cameron, Lex Greensill, a major investor in the company.

The plant in Rotherham, which has been closed since the spring, will begin pumping out steel over the coming months.

Local MP and Labour’s Shadow Defence Secretary, John Healey, said the move was a “breakthrough” following months of uncertainty but warned the cash “won’t be enough for long”.

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