NEWPORT East MP Jessica Morden has called on the government to give the UK’s steel industry a vital role in rebuilding the economy after the coronavirus pandemic.

The Labour MP led a House of Commons debate on the UK Steel industry.

Ms Morden, who is co-chair of the All Party Steel Group, urged the UK to grasp a "unique opportunity to create a 21st century manufacturing sector that has a revitalised steel industry at its core."


“The impact of the pandemic on our steel industry has consequences not only on a local level but on a national level,” she said.

“UK steel contributes a combined £5.5 billion to the UK economy and £3.2 billion to mitigating the national trade deficit through exports produced.

“That is because steel is a foundation industry for many other sectors: engineering, construction, transport and renewable energy, to name just a few.

“Steel forms the backbone of our manufacturing sector, and the industry stands ready to supply the world-class steel that will help us to build back better.”

Ms Morden also asked the government to back the “Britain, we need our steel” campaign, which has been launched by the Community, Unite and GMB trade unions.

“We need the Government to ensure that all Government Departments now sign up to the UK steel charter,” she said.

“I am pleased that the Welsh Government were one of the first signatories.

“This would commit the Government to prioritise UK steel in procurement for infrastructure projects.

“Back in June, the Prime Minister said that the Government will ‘do absolutely everything we can…to ensure that UK steel manufacturers are at the front of the queue for the great projects that we are going to construct.’

“We will hold the Prime Minister to that.

“Steel can play a vital part in rebuilding Britain after the pandemic. Despite the significant challenges posed by coronavirus, the Government have a unique opportunity to create a 21st-century manufacturing sector that has a revitalised steel sector at its core, so that we can build back.

“However, the Government must act - something that they have been slow to do in the past.”