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Government under fire as Redcar coke ovens and blast furnace to shut

The coke ovens and blast furnace at SSI steel works plant in Redcar, Teesside, are to close, as no viable offers have been put forward by potential buyers, the firm's official receiver has said.

The government has come under fire from MPs, local councillors and union leaders, who accuse ministers of failing to act to save the plant.

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MP: Redcar closure 'breathtaking industrial vandalism'

Middlesbrough MP Andy McDonald has labelled the Redcar steel works announcement an "absolute and utter disaster", accusing the government of "breathtaking industrial vandalism."

MP Andy McDonald called the closure an 'absolute and utter disaster' Credit: PA

In a blog published to his website, the Labour MP said ministers had been "asleep at the wheel", claiming the collapse should have been on the government's radar a long time ago.

All the signs have been there for many months. Principally the dumping of vast quantities of steel by China on the world market and, despite slowing growth in China, their own steel consumption had failed to keep pace with the growth in production made it abundantly clear that there were major problems ahead.

This has been known in the industry for years and has put enormous pressure on the UK steel industry.

– Andy McDonald

It comes after local council leader Sue Jeffery also lashed out at the government's response, accusing them of "allowing" the closures by failing to act.

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