Tom Blenkinsop MP response to Klesch withdrawal from Tata deal

Commenting on reports that Anglo-American industrialist Gary Klesch is not pursuing the purchase of Tata Steel’s Long Products division, Labour MP & Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Steel, Tom Blenkinsop said:

“Since the arrival of Klesch as a potential buyer for several Teesside-based steel operations I have had my concerns and doubts over his commitment to the steel industry. He has a diverse business background owning companies such as Knickerbox, French shoe manufacturers and oil refineries I did question ‘how much real interest does the group owner, Gary Klesch, have in steel?’

“Whilst he has identified some key challenges facing the UK steel industry such as dumping imports from China and high energy costs – I do feel that Tata’s decision, and one supported by workers, to make the Long Products division a standalone business offers it the best chance of success in the future.

“Meanwhile, the Business Secretary apparently doesn’t want to talk about industrial strategy – at just the point when the steel industry needs an active government strategy to support tens of thousands of skilled UK jobs, not to mention the vital contribution being made to UK supply chains and infrastructure projects.

“Ministers took the right action on anti-dumping support last month – but this is just one small part of the picture. They need to act urgently on the rest.”

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