Saturday, 23 January 2016 10:51

Cross-party condemnation for tory disregard for Scottish Steel

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 SNP MSP Clare Adamson has today challenged Tory Business Minister Anna Soubry to issue a ‘full, sincere and public apology’ to Scotland’s steel workers – after a motion condemning her remarks earlier this week achieved cross-party support in the Scottish Parliament.

 The MSP for Central Scotland lodged a motion in the Scottish Parliament condemning Ms Soubry for referring to Scotland’s steel industry as “bits and bobs”– which now has cross-party support, with backing from members of both the Scottish Labour party and from the Green-Independent group of MSPs.

 Commenting, Ms Adamson said:

 “For the UK government's business minister to write off Scotland's proud steel industry as mere 'bits and bobs' shows utter contempt from the Tories towards the workforce at Dalzell and Clydebridge – and lays bare exactly how out of touch the Tories are with workers in Scotland.  

 “I am pleased that colleagues from across parties have joined me in criticising the callous remarks of this Tory Minister – and now that parties in the Scottish Parliament have united in condemnation, it’s time for Anna Soubry to recognise the extent of her insult to the workers and issue a full, sincere and public apology.

 “Since making the insensitive, disrespectful remarks Ms Soubry has steadfastly refused to retract her comments – she needs to break her silence and give the workers the apology they deserve.

 "Compare and contrast the complete disregard the Tories showed for the industry with the positive action taken by the SNP government in pulling out all the stops to find a potential buyer for Tata's sites in Scotland - to sustain jobs and a viable future for this vital industry.

 "The Tories can’t get away with simply ignoring Scotland’s steel industry.  It’s time for the UK government  to get a grip of the situation across the whole of the UK – and for Anna Soubry to issue an overdue apology to the 270 workers at Dalzell and Clydebridge for the complete contempt she showed for them and for Scotland’s steel industry.”


 Notes to editors:

 The text of Ms Adamson’s motion, which has received support from MSPs from the Scottish Labour Party and from the Green-Independent group is below:

 That the Parliament expresses its solidarity with the many steel workers across the UK who have lost their jobs and face redundancy due to what it considers a crisis in the steel industry; expresses its disappointment at recent comments by the UK Minister for Small Business, Industry and Enterprise, Anna Soubry, in describing Tata’s long-products division at the Dalzell and Clydebridge steel plants as "bits and bobs"; considers that this will be deeply hurtful to the workforce in this strategic industry; acknowledges what it sees as the hard work and dedication of the workers from both Dalzell and Clydebridge and the commitment of the Scottish Steel Task Force in looking for viable options to sustain jobs and secure a future for the Scottish steel industry, and urges all levels of government to remain focussed on this task and treat the workers and families affected by this crisis with dignity and respect.


 Anna Soubry’s interview can be viewed here:

 Anna Soubry: “And the long products division, which is basically Scunthorpe and some other bits and bobs, has been on the market now for about two years. Somebody has come forward. They are interested in buying it. That deal, I hope very much, will go through…”