Minister talks of steel deal

Tata Steel's site in Brenda Road in Hartlepool.

Tata Steel's site in Brenda Road in Hartlepool.

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Business Secretary Sajid Javid played down suggestions that Tata could close down its UK operations, with the loss of 15,000 jobs, including 500 in Hartlepool, in as little as six weeks if a buyer is not found.

But, he acknowledged that the Government would have to come forward with some financial assistance if there was to be a deal.

“Tata will issue an offer document very soon. Alongside that, the UK Government know - I’ve known for a while - that we’re also going to have to offer support to clinch that buyer and give that steel plant a long-term, viable future,” he said. “I do feel, though, for lots of reasons after talking to Tata and many others involved in this, that there will be enough time to find the right buyer working with the Government and being able to take this forward.” While he did not believe that nationalisation was a solution to the problems of the business, he insisted he was ruling nothing out. I don’t think nationalisation is a solution to this. Having said that, I also think it wouldn’t be prudent to rule anything out.”