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'All British Tata Steel bid' between Excalibur Steel UK and Liberty House 'completely untrue'

Credit: PA

A deal between Excalibur Steel UK and Liberty House to buy the Tata Steel UK operation is "completely untrue", ITV News Business Editor Joel Hills has been told.

The "all-British bid" between the two companies was thought to have been to allow Excalibur access to what one source describes as "the deep pockets" of Liberty House, while in turn they would benefit from working closely with the team who have been seen as the front-runners from the outset of the sales process.

The rumour had emerged ahead of the planned Tata board meeting in Mumbai this week to whittle down the seven bids for the ailing steel operation.

The sale includes the huge Port Talbot plant and 15,000 jobs across the UK.

Management buyout team 'join Liberty House Tata bid'

ITV News Business Editor Joel Hills has revealed that the team behind the Excalibur Steel bid for Tata's UK operations are set to formally join the competing Liberty House team.

Stuart Wilkie was leading the Excalibur management buy out bid. Liberty House owner Sanjeev Gupta also put a bid in

The move was denied by the chairman of the Excalibur bid.

Port Talbot steel could be used if new Heathrow runway approved

Credit: PA

Heathrow airport has pledged to use British steel if it is allowed to build a new runway, as Indian conglomerate Tata continues to assess bids for its UK assets.

A shortlist of seven bidders has been drawn up, with thousands of jobs resting on a successful sale, including over 4,000 at the giant plant at Port Talbot in south Wales.

Tata has not set a deadline for bids to be submitted, but a decision is drawing closer.

Heathrow chairman Lord Deighton will today visit the Severfield steel plant in North Yorkshire to confirm the pledge to advertise its requirements for steel in the UK.

An airports commission has recommended an expansion at Heathrow rather than Gatwick, but the Government has yet to give the go ahead.

Joint Tata bid 'interesting and potentially positive'

Reports emerged last night that Liberty House and Excalibur Steel UK could work together to buy Tata's UK operation. Credit: PA

Reports of a joint bid to buy Tata Steel's UK operation are evidence of the 'significant interest' that exists in the British steel industry, according to the Community Union.

ITV News understands talks have been held between Liberty House and Excalibur Steel - the management buyout bid - over the possibility of the two bidders working together.

Read more: Tata Steel bidders could join forces

Roy Rickhuss, General Secretary of the Community Union said talks of a joint bid were a 'potentially positive development.'

These reports are yet further evidence of the significant interest that exists in securing the future of British steel making. Liberty and Excalibur both have senior individuals with significant experience of the industry and any joint venture would be an interesting and potentially positive development in the process.

Tata must honour their commitment to be a responsible seller and allow the time necessary for this bid, and indeed all others, to be made in the proper manner. We will continue to make the case to all potential bidders that the highly skilled workforce is the foundation on which a successful, profitable future for steel can be built.

– Roy Rickhuss, General Secretary, Community Union

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Tata steel bid rumours 'encouraging'

The president of the Community Union has said rumours of a co-operation between Liberty House and Excalibur Steel to buy the Tata Steel UK operation are 'encouraging'.

Credit: PA

Speaking on Sunday Alan Coombs said the idea 'made common sense'.

It's encouraging and it makes common sense; there is expertise on both sides.

However the union would have to go through any proposals with a fine tooth comb.

– Alan Coombs, Community Union

The rumours have emerged as the Tata board plan to meet in Mumbai this week, to whittle down the seven bids for the ailing steel operation.

The sale includes the huge Port Talbot plant and 15,000 jobs across the UK.

Neither companies were prepared to comment - all bidders are subject to Tata's strict non-disclosure agreement.

Steel workers set to march to put pressure on UK government

Credit: Benjamin Wright/PA Wire

Hundreds of steelworkers are to stage a march in London to keep pressure on the Government to help secure the future of their crisis-hit industry.

Workers from plants across the country will gather on May 25 before walking past Downing Street and Parliament.

Those taking part work for several companies, including Tata, which is selling its loss-making UK assets, including the huge plant at Port Talbot in south Wales.

The steelworkers will demand that the Government works to ensure a responsible sale of Tata Steel and deliver a proper industrial strategy to support the entire steel sector throughout the current crisis.

For months, the Save Our Steel campaign has engaged hundreds of thousands of people across the UK.

This march will bring steelworkers to London to focus all our attention on delivering a clear message to government: save our jobs, support our communities and deliver the fantastic future for British steel making we know it can have.

– Roy Rickhuss, general secretary of the Community union

Take a tour inside the massive Shotton steelworks

While speculation rages around the Tata steel empire - and the 4,000 it means for Wales - today the firm opened up the gates of their massive Shotton plant in Flintshire.

It's one of the most profitable parts of the company, worth 800 jobs on the site alone and thousands more across the north.

Watch below: Rob Shelley takes a tour of the site...

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