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  1. ITV Report

Teesside MPs press Government for assurances British Steel buyer search will continue under Boris Johnson

Teesside MPs Anna Turley and Simon Clarke have both pressed Business Secretary Greg Clark for assurances that efforts to find a buyer for British Steel sites at Lackenby and Skinningrove will continue under Boris Johnson's new administration.

Mr Clark told MPs the future success of the business "though not certain, is certainly within grasp", but would require the "active participation" of everyone.

MPs also heard that talks have been going on with the incoming PM to make sure the issue is "at the top of the new Prime Minister's agenda".

He was responding to an urgent question from Labour's Anna Turley, MP for Redcar on the sale of British Steel.

Mr Clark said there is a "strong future, a strategic future", for the British steel industry, adding: "Not only would the consequences of the loss of historic assets - hugely important in all of the communities that she mentions - not only would that be unconscionable, but actually it would be to lose a substantial opportunity here."

Ms Turley said Mr Clark had stepped in, helped secure the asset, enabled the business to continue and ensured the workforce was paid, adding: "He's given us, through the indemnity that the Government have given to the official receiver, a very, very good chance of ensuring the future for British Steel in this country, so I'd like to put on record my thank you to him."

Credit: Han Yan/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

While we've had in the last few weeks the new Prime Minister running around the country waving kippers in the air, the contrast has been 5,000 dedicated, highly skilled workers in British Steel putting their shoulders to the wheel.

– Anna Turley MP, Redcar, Labour

Mr Clark said: "I have spoken to both candidates during the leadership contest to impress on them what we agree is the crucial role of this industry."

He said Mr Johnson has been spoken to "reinforce the resolution across all sides of the House that this is at the top of the new Prime Minister's agenda".