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Union 'encouraged' after Business Secretary visit to Port Talbot

The new Business Secretary has met workers at Port Talbot steel plant which still has doubts over its long-term future.

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Steel giant Tata has halted plans to sell the huge site and is working on keeping its UK business as part of a joint venture with German conglomerate Thyssen Krupp.

Greg Clark, the new Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, visited the Port Talbot works yesterday and met workers and union officials.

I am encouraged that Greg Clark has met with steelworkers in his first week on the job. He will have left today in no doubt that Community will keep the pressure on this Government to keep their promises to protect the steel industry.The new Secretary of State clearly understands the scale of the challenge still facing the industry, but his words to steelworkers today must be followed by firm actions to help save their jobs. By visiting Port Talbot, he will have seen first-hand that the highly skilled workforce is the foundation on which any success for this industry will be built.

– Roy Rickhuss, Community union

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Plaid Cymru AM "deeply disappointed" at news of Tata sale suspension

Plaid Cymru AM Adam Price has said he is "deeply disappointed" at the news that steel giant Tata is to suspend its sales process in the UK.

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On Friday it was announced that the planned sale of the Port Talbot plant would be halted, after talks with potential bidders in Mumbai.

The company released a statement saying that they will look at "alternative and more sustainable" solutions for the European part of their business, adding they are now talking to "strategic players" in the steel industry.

I am very concerned at the news of the suspension of the sales process and am deeply disappointed that the Wales-led management and worker buyout will not be able to go to the next stage of the process.

We have heard speculation that one of the alternative solutions is a potential link-up with German steelmaker ThyssenKrupp.

We do not believe that this would be in the long-term interests of the Welsh and UK steel industries.

Indeed if this speculation proves to be accurate and unless an explicit long-term commitment is made to the future of operations in Wales, then we will call on the UK Government to initiate a temporary full nationalisation of Tata's UK operations in order to continue with the sales process.

Merger with the German steelmaker would very likely lead to the closure of the Port Talbot steelworks and the concentration of activity at Ijmuiden, and must be opposed at all costs.

– Adam Price, Plaid Cymru Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Economy

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Government support 'remains on table' for steel industry

First Minister Carwyn Jones has spoken to David Cameron over the phone regarding the steel industry in Wales, Downing Street has said.

A spokesperson said the two discussed ongoing efforts to support the steel industry in Wales, and agreed that offers of support from the UK and Welsh Governments remain on the table.

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The spokesperson added: "They agreed on the importance of both governments continuing to work very closely in partnership to support the steel industry in Wales and across the whole of the UK".

Stephen Kinnock: Tata reports pose more questions than answers

Reports of a possible pause in the sale of Tata Strip Products UK poses more questions than it answers, according to Aberavon MP Stephen Kinnock.

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If reports that Tata Steel intend to pause the sale of most of its UK business, including Port Talbot, prove to be correct, then this would clearly pose more questions than it answers.

Steel workers and their families have been put through hell over the last weeks and months, and they will be forgiven for greeting these reports with a degree of scepticism, and perhaps even an element of anger.

We all understand the massive impact of the referendum result, and we appreciate that Tata Steel, like so many other businesses, need time to review and evaluate the implications of Brexit. However, It is now absolutely critical that Tata Steel and the UK Government come forward with a specific timetable.

– Stephen Kinnock, Labour MP for Aberavon

Chris Bryant shares resignation letter to Jeremy Corbyn

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Rhondda MP Chris Bryant has resigned from his role as Shadow Leader of the House of Commons amid protest over Jeremy Corbyn's leadership.

He shared the news on his Twitter profile as well as sharing the resignation letter.

In it, he said he was grateful for the opportunity but criticised Corbyn for his stance during the party's campaign to remain in the EU.

Since taking up the post of Shadow Leader of the House I have worked as constructively as possible with you and your office.

Last week changed everything. A major plank of Labour's longstanding economic and foreign policy was defeated in the referendum and we effectively handed the right in this country their biggest victory in a century.

The Prime Minister must take the lion's share of the blame for that defeat and he has honourably resigned, but your inability to give a clear, unambiguous message to Labour voters significantly contributed to the result. You left many Labour voters uncertain as to our party's position.

With Brexit and a prolonged period of instability and uncertainty on the horizon, our country urgently needs inspiring leadership as it charts its way through very difficult waters. My constituents rightly look to Labour to provide that leadership but at the moment it is sadly lacking.

– Chris Bryant MP
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