MP backs campaign for new HMS Sheffield to recognise city's 'extraordinary contribution' to Navy

Paul Blomfield MP and the new Type 26 frigates being built for the Navy, one of which campaigners hope will be named HMS Sheffield
Paul Blomfield MP and the new Type 26 frigates being built for the Navy, one of which campaigners hope will be named HMS Sheffield
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An MP has added his voice to growing calls for a new HMS Sheffield, saying no city has contributed more to the Navy when it comes to steel and engineering.

Paul Blomfield has backed the campaign, supported by The Star, to get a fourth ship named after the city in recognition of its proud naval history,

The first HMS Sheffield, which was nicknamed the Shiny Sheff

The first HMS Sheffield, which was nicknamed the Shiny Sheff

The Sheffield Central MP believes it would be a fitting honour for the manufacturing powerhouse which has helped build Britain's fleet.

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“It’s time for our city to be recognised with a new HMS Sheffield, and I'm pleased to add my support to a campaign that has got backing from across the city," he said.

"The first HMS Sheffield, which saw successful action in the Second World War against Nazi Germany’s biggest battleship the Bismarck, unusually had many stainless steel fittings, rather than brass. Let’s continue that tradition too."

Three of the Navy's eight new Type 26 frigates which are being built have already been named after Glasgow, Belfast and Cardiff, leaving five slots free for other UK cities.

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The first HMS Sheffield - nicknamed the Shiny Sheff - notched 12 battle honours during the Second World War. The second was famously destroyed during the Falklands War and the third was decommissioned in 2002 and sold to Chile.

Sheffield's lord mayor Councillor Anne Murphy is spearheading the campaign for a fourth HMS Sheffield, which has many high-profile backers including the city's universities, aerospace giant Boeing and some of the companies which helped equip the previous ship.

Mr Blomfield has written to defence secretary Gavin Williamson pressing the case for the city.

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"It's perhaps right we should have named the first three of these new ships after the leading cities in the nations of the UK," he said.

"Now it's time to look at the leading cities in England. Sheffield is the fourth largest city and we have an extraordinary history in terms of the contribution we've made to the defence sector and the Navy in particular as a steel and engineering city.

"It seems we should be right at the top of the list to be recognised in this way.

"The Navy over the years wouldn't have been much without steel, and no city has played a bigger role than Sheffield in terms of manufacturing steel."