Labour Member of Parliament for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on steel has warned the Government not to jeopardise the sale of Tata by squabbling with itself.
The Department for Business (BIS) and the Department for Work and Pensions are arguing over a proposal which would see Tata’s pension fund ‘spun off’ as a separate entity, effectively become a new scheme.
“The accelerated timescale for the sale of the remaining Tata business is already a course for concern but this new intra-department spat has the potential to put off the majority of buyers.
“Bickering in the corridors of Whitehall is directly affecting lives here on Teesside, Hartlepool 25 inch, 42 inch and the mothballed 84 inch mills are all up for sale with hundreds of jobs on the line. That’s why I’m calling on Sajid Javid and Stephen Crabb to put their differences aside and work together to find a buyer and save the thousands of jobs which are at risk nationally.
“The Government must work alongside buyers to secure a sale, no options should be ruled out at this early stage, sending mixed messages will only cause confusion and doubt.”