John Healey has called on the government to pledge support for the steel industry in the Budget on 8 March.

Earlier this month the Wentworth & Dearne MP, whose constituency covers Tata Steel’s Aldwarke plant, welcomed an agreement for Tata to sell their South Yorkshire Specialty Steels operation to Liberty House Group.

He said it should be a big step in securing steel-making in South Yorkshire for the long-term.

But he said government support was needed and he has called on the Industry Minister Nick Hurd to ensure backing for the steel industry is in the Budget next week.

He said in a letter: “UK steel-making is a foundation for much of our wider world-class British manufacturing and no modern country can flourish without steel as one of its strategic industries.

“So there is a strong case for government action on steel, and this is a case I have made to Ministers many times in recent years.

“I trust in the Budget next month that the government will finally bring in the support that Ministers have talked about for our steel industry.”

The MP wants a “buy-British bias” in big government projects and for them to take action on energy costs, business rates and skills and research funding.

Mr Healey said that, since the National Steel Summit in Rotherham in November 2015, there had been “an unprecedented unity of views” from industry senior executives, trade union leaders and MPs of all parties – but there was little mention of steel in the Prime Minister’s industrial strategy.

He also questioned the minister on reports the government had classified the steel industry as “low” priority in the Brexit negotiations, and called on Mr Hurd to give reassurances to steel areas like South Yorkshire.

Read John’s letter to the Industry Minister in full