THE shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry has said Newport's Orb steelworks could play "a big role" in Labour's plans for a 'green industrial revolution'.

Ms Thornberry visited Newport today, and campaigned with Labour candidates Ruth Jones and Jessica Morden, who are running for Newport East and West respectively.

She also signed the Argus' petition to save the city's Orb Electrical Steels plant, which owner Tata plans to close down.


South Wales Argus:

Emily Thornberry signing the Argus' petition

Visiting Middle Eastern restaurant Falafilo Island alongside Mrs Jones, Ms Thornberry said Labour's plans for future industrial development relied on politicians having "vision".

"It will be a great creator of jobs, particularly in areas such as this that were in the lead when it came to the previous industrial revolution," she said, adding: "I don’t think our generation will be forgiven if in 20 or 30 years’ time we have wrecked the planet, and we turn around and say ‘Oh sorry, we were really busy with Brexit.'"

Ms Thornberry also spoke about Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian woman imprisoned in Iran since 2016 on spying charges, which she denies.

South Wales Argus:

Picture: Family Handout/PA Wire

Ms Zagahri-Ratcliffe's sister-in-law lives in Newport and works as a GP in Cwmbran.

Ms Thornberry said the UK should be "absolutely clear in a way that Boris Johnson never was [when he was foreign secretary] – that this woman is not a spy, she was not a journalist. She was just a mum who was out there, with her child, visiting her parents."

She added: "She’s an innocent woman and she really should be coming home."

For the rest of her time in Wales, Ms Thornberry is due to visit the Communication Workers Union in Newport, ahead of stops in Cardiff, Mumbles, and Pontypridd. She seemed unperturbed by the task of going out canvassing in the pouring rain which had accompanied her visit.

"You just have to take it in good heart," she said. "We’re having a winter election – it’s going to rain, it’s going to be cold, and it’s going to be dark – but it’s very important that we get our message out to people."

Several hundreds of people have already signed a petition from the South Wales Argus, calling for the UK Government to work with Tata Steel and to invest in the Orb plant.

Click here to download the petition: South Wales Argus Orb Petition.pdf

Print it out, sign it, get your friends and family to sign it, and drop it into the Argus office in Cardiff Road, Maesglas, Newport, NP20 3QN.