Today Liberty Steel announced job losses in Rotherham, Stocksbridge and Newport.

John Healey, MP for the Rotherham Aldwarke steelworks, said: “This is devastating news for steel workers and their families, especially coming so early in the new year.

“I’ve talked to Liberty today and got confirmation that they will continue their investment programme in South Yorkshire, which includes plans to restart the N furnace at Rotherham Aldwarke, and I will continue pressing the company to keep that promise.

“But our UK steel industry still needs government backing. For years, I’ve been fighting with the industry for help on business rates and UK energy costs which are far higher than our European competitors. The government just isn’t listening, let alone taking action.

“The long-term support the industry needs was discussed when we held the national steel summit here in Rotherham in 2015. It was chaired by Sajid Javid, then business secretary, now chancellor. He pledged to help then but more than four years on, we’re still waiting.”

  • UK steel producers pay 62% more for electricity than their competitors in Germany, and 80% more than those in France, according to this report from October 2019.