Ed Miliband: Government ‘cannot afford’ to let Liberty Steel jobs go

John Besley, PA
·1-min read

The Government should consider nationalising Liberty Steel if necessary to save thousands of “crucial jobs”, Ed Miliband has said.

Liberty Steel’s future is the subject of speculation after specialist bank Greensill Capital went into administration.

Greensill Capital was the main lender to Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance which includes Liberty Steel – the owner of steel plants across the UK.

Mr Gupta’s business empire employs around 5,000 people in the UK, a majority of whom work for Liberty Steel across its 11 sites throughout England, Scotland and Wales, including Scunthorpe, Newport and Rotherham.

Shadow business secretary Ed Miliband
Shadow business secretary Ed Miliband (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Speaking to the BBC, the Shadow Business Secretary said the Government needed to explore every option to keep the company afloat, including nationalisation.

He told the broadcaster: “These are crucial jobs for communities up and down this country.

“Let’s hope that Liberty Steel can find the refinancing that it’s looking for but the Government needs a Plan B to make sure whatever happens, these jobs are saved.

“If there’s one lesson we learned from this pandemic it’s that our strategic infrastructure, our resilience really matters. And steel is a key part of our strategic infrastructure and resilience.

“We cannot afford to let these jobs go. Government has got to make sure it doesn’t happen.”

Downing Street said the Government was continuing to work with unions and the firm.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “We continue to monitor developments on that front and we are engaging closely with the company and trade unions.”