BREAKING: Rotherham MP Sarah Champion says Tata Steel jobs cut is ‘devastating’

Sarah Champion, Labour MP for Rotherham
Sarah Champion, Labour MP for Rotherham
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Rotherham MP Sarah Champion has said the announcement that 550 Tata Steel jobs are at risk in South Yorkshire as ‘devastating.’

Bosses say 485 positions within the bar business on the Thrybergh site are under threat, with a further 60 in Stocksbridge and five at Brinsworth.

The firm says its Rotherham bar business has been “underperforming” in the face of imports due to the strong pound and “high electricity costs which are more than double those of key European competitors.”

Ms Champion is MP for Rotherham Central, which covers the main site along with the Wentworth and Dearne constituency.

She said: “Devastating is the word. I’m completely floored and I am paticularly angry because we have been pushing the Government for years now because the energy prices that we pay in this country are up to ten times higher than in Europe so it’s just not a level playing field.

“All that has been promised is a report in 2016 and that is too little, too late.”

Ms Champion said that without action it would start happening ‘across the country’ and it was about the impact on families and the local economy as well as jobs.

She added: “The most important thing for me is to get the support in place for workers.”

She called for those affected to have retraining so they could work on more specialist steel projects which will still be produced in Rotherham and said the issue would be raised in Parliament again.

“Bizarrely we had a debate on it yesterday, about trying to push the Government to help the British steel industry”, she added.

“If they helped just a little bit it would keep people in work, whereas now by not assisting it is going to lead to more people being unemployed.”