BIS select committee to address UK's troubled steel industry after Tata and SSI closures

Suzie Neuwirth
Tata Steel announced 1,200 job cuts this week, the latest blow to the UK's steel industry (Source: Getty)

Business ministers and industry figures are set to be grilled by a committee of MPs over the crisis hammering the UK steel sector.

The Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) select committee hearing is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon and will address the challenges facing the industry, which is struggling to compete in the global marketplace due to an influx of cheap steel from China, high energy costs, high business rates and a strong pound.

Tata Steel announced 1,200 job cuts earlier this week as it scales back operations, following SSI who slashed 1,700 roles last month.

“The UK’s steel industry has been dealt a series of major blows in recent weeks and months,” said Iain Wright MP, chair of the BIS committee.

“It is facing terminal decline, even though it is an essential foundation for other parts of our economy like aerospace, construction and automotives.

“As a committee we will be pressing the government to explain what action it is taking now to help the steel industry through this crisis and its plans to support the industry as part of a competitive and dynamic manufacturing sector in the long term.”

Read more: Politicians and industry figures struggle to solve UK steel crisis

Tor Farquhar, group human resources director at Tata Steel Europe, will be giving evidence to the committee.

He will be joined by Luis Sanz, chief executive of Celsa Steel UK, Gareth Stace, director of trade body UK Steel and Roy Rickhuss, general secretary of the trade union Community.

After hearing from the industry, the select committee will call up Tom Blenkinsop, MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland and Nia Griffith, MP for Llanelli and shadow secretary of state for Wales, who both represent areas particularly affected by the steel crisis.

Finally, the committee will hear from Anna Soubry MP, minister for small business, industry and enterprise and Stuart Edwards, deputy director for materials and resource industries at BIS.

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