'PM needs to bang heads together' to avoid steel sector crisis, industry boss says

11 October 2021, 07:44 | Updated: 11 October 2021, 08:25

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Gareth Stace, director-general of UK Steel, has called on the Prime Minister to "bang ministerial heads together" to avoid an industry crisis hitting his sector.

Mr Stace said the steel sector delivers "100%" for Boris Johnson's vision to level up the economy because UK Steel offers high wages in different regions.

He told LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast: "This is a critical time. The Business Secretary has also said it's a critical situation, and therefore why is Government just sitting on its hands and doing absolutely nothing at the moment?

"From my point of view, today, with the reported Government infighting between the Treasury and BEIS, the Prime Minister now needs to bang ministerial heads together, take control and remember that if he does nothing, then his levelling-up ambition will be left in tatters."

The conversation comes amid a £50 million cash injection being made by Liberty Steel, which will safeguard hundreds of jobs in the UK.

The announcement, affecting its plant in Rotherham, is part of a wider restructure of GFG Alliance, Liberty's owner, which was forced to seek funding when its key lender, Greensill Capital, collapsed.

The cash will allow the Rotherham plant to reopen after being closed since spring.

Jeffrey S Stein, chief restructuring officer, said: "I'm pleased to report a significant advance in GFG Alliance's global restructuring.

"The debt restructuring we have agreed for Liberty Primary Metals Australia gives the business clarity and stability and secures a clear recovery plan for creditors.

"The funding we are injecting to Liberty Steel UK puts it in a strong position for business transformation and debt restructuring.

"The next stage in our global refinancing will be in Europe where a significant number of new lenders are expressing interest in refinancing our steel assets."

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