Sunak defends Tata Steel decision – ‘other option was closing down whole site’

Sunak defends Tata Steel decision – ‘other option was closing down whole site’
Ben Chapman

By Ben Chapman

Published: 19/01/2024

- 11:32

Updated: 19/01/2024

- 12:03

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said the Government is “absolutely committed” to British steelmaking, when asked about expected plans for Tata Steel to close both blast furnaces at its biggest UK plant, threatening more than 3,000 job losses.

Asked whether he was happy about the prospect of job cuts, Mr Sunak told broadcasters: “I know first of all that it will be a worrying time for everyone affected, and because it’s a commercially sensitive matter, and people appreciate there’s a limit to what I can say.

“But what I can tell you is we are absolutely committed to steelmaking in the UK and that’s why the Government provided half a billion pounds to support Tata.

“The alternative, by the way, was it, the entire plant, will be closed and all 8,000 jobs will be lost, but the Government worked with the company.

“The company is investing more money in order to safeguard thousands of jobs, and that’s something that the UK Government has done.

“The Welsh Government did not participate in that and that’s because we cared about those jobs, and the future of steelmaking in Wales and the UK, because there’s an announcement coming later, but it’s important that we wait for that.”

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