(L-R): Sir Keir Starmer, Labour Party Leader, Lisa Coulson, Strategy and Marketing Director, Allan Bell, Chief Commercial and Procurement Officer, and Chris Vaughan, Safety, Health, Environment and Quality Director
08 Jun 2023

Labour Party leader visits British Steel's Scunthorpe site

Today we welcomed Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer to our Scunthorpe site to discuss the significant challenges Britain’s steelmakers face.

Britain requires a vibrant steel industry and during his visit Sir Keir toured our Scunthorpe operations which, along with our sites in Teesside and Skinningrove, are integral to ensuring Britain has the secure supply of high-quality steel it will need for decades to come. British Steel is the UK’s only manufacturer of structural sections and these go into 3 out of 4 major construction projects in this country. We are also the only company in the UK which makes rail and special profiles. In addition to this, we directly provide thousands of highly skilled and well-paid jobs while an estimated 19,000 people are employed in our supply chain.

During its first 3 years of ownership, Jingye has invested £330 million in capital projects at British Steel and our shareholder outlined to Sir Keir its commitment to transforming our business with further planned investments providing the government can give assurances of a competitive landscape for energy and carbon in the UK.

Our decarbonisation strategy is underpinned by our Low-Carbon Roadmap which will help secure low embedded carbon steelmaking in the UK. However, we need the UK to adopt the correct policies and frameworks now to back our drive to become a clean, green, and successful company. Governments in the countries where our major competitors operate have adopted such policies and the longer we wait for their implementation in the UK, the more impact this will have on our competitiveness and the country's ability to meet its carbon objectives.

We remain in talks with the government and are committed to making the home-made steel Britain needs for generations to come.

Sir Keir told Humber Business: “Steel is integral to a modern economy, and my Labour government will back it, secure it, and grow it, creating high paying, productive jobs in communities all over the country, for generations.

“Through our Green Prosperity Plan, we will invest alongside industry in technology and innovation, as well as increasing demand for UK steel from our plan to build turbines, railways, and carbon capture infrastructure.”

Alun Davies, National Officer for Community the steelworkers’ union, said: “It was good to meet today with Keir and discuss Labour’s plans to deliver a decarbonised steel industry at the core of an ambitious industrial strategy. Britain needs its steel industry and Britain’s steelworkers need government to do far more to support our steelmakers to go green and prosper. All us steelworkers ask is the chance to compete on a level playing field with EU producers.”

Sir Keir was joined on his visit by Ed Miliband MP, Shadow Secretary of State of Climate Change and Net Zero, and Sir Nic Dakin.