Ed Miliband urges to consider nationalising Liberty Steel ‘if necessary’ GFG Alliance chief Sanjeev Gupta (Photo: DENIS CHARLET/AFP/Getty Images).
SHADOW business secretary Ed Miliband has said that the UK government should consider nationalising Liberty Steel if necessary to save thousands of jobs.
He added that the government ‘cannot afford’ to let Liberty Steel collapse.
“The government needed to explore every option to keep the company afloat, including nationalisation,” Miliband told the BBC.
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.
According to reports, Gupta 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 Hartlepool and Rotherham.
“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,” Miliband told the BBC.
“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.”
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.”
GFG Alliance last week said that it had ‘adequate funding’ for its current needs but admitted the collapse of Greensill had created ‘a challenging situation’.
Reports said that unions have called on the government to act to ensure that jobs are not lost.