Statement from Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen on British Steel entering into administration

Following the news that British Steel has entered into Administration, Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said:

“British Steel’s owners, Greybull Capital, have been complete sharks throughout this tragic process. Greybull offered a measly £1million to save the company, and then expected the taxpayer to cough up while they laughed all the way to the bank. 

“It is clear that my request for temporary nationalisation to save 700 jobs has fallen on deaf ears. The Government argue that bailing out a failing company is prohibited under strict EU state aid laws, but I’m not buying it. 

“I brought our local airport back into public ownership to prevent closure, and countless other European countries have stepped in save their steel industries to prevent collapse. Hiding behind European Union rules does absolutely nothing to help 700 workers who’ll be worried about their jobs and livelihoods today.

“Yet again the people of Teesside have been shafted by heartless private investors, and a Government completely unwilling to pull their finger out to help local workers.

“This issue is much bigger than party politics and so I have written to every MP and Council Leader in our region to convene an urgent meeting this Friday. As a region, our one and only priority will be to ensure Teesside jobs are protected and the company’s profitable plants at Lackenby and Skinningrove remain open.”