PM snubs MP over steel

Motherwell and Wishaw MP Marion Fellows meets general manager Colin Timmons at Dalzell steelworks
Motherwell and Wishaw MP Marion Fellows meets general manager Colin Timmons at Dalzell steelworks

Motherwell and Wishaw MP Marion Fellows is outraged the Prime Minister is refusing to meet with her to discuss Tata Steel.

Following the firm’s decision to ‘mothball’ its plants at Dalzell, Clydebridge and Scunthorpe, Mrs Fellows wrote to request an urgent meeting with David Cameron who had already stated in Parliament he ‘was always happy to meet’ MPs from Lincolnshire.

She has since received a reply from 10 Downing Street saying the Prime Minister is too busy to meet her and referred her letter to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Mrs Fellows said: “My constituents deserve better from the Government. The Prime Minister has said repeatedly that they are better together with the rest of the United Kingdom.

“They did not believe him last year, when a majority of them voted that Scotland should be an independent country, and they certainly do not believe him now because we clearly have an England-first and a Scotland-nowhere Parliament on non-devolved issues.”

Mrs Fellows has already met Scottish Secretary David Mundell and Colin Timmons, general manager of the Dalzell works, and attended the first meeting of the Scottish Government task force on steel in Hamilton and the UK Steel Summit in Rotherham.

She said: “The contrast between the action taken by the Scottish Government and the UK Government is stark.

“There was a sense of urgency and drive to save the two Scottish plants at the first meeting of the task force.

“However, I was disappointed the summit in Rotherham - where industry leaders, unions and cross party MPs sought to galvanise the Government into urgent action - did not lead to immediate action on energy prices, a commitment to an industrial strategy and strong measures to end the dumping of Chinese steel.”

The task force meeting was chaired by Business, Energy and Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing.

He said: “This was a chance for members to agree that our primary focus is to secure an alternative operator for the plants and retain as many jobs as possible.”

The task force is scheduled to meet again on Friday, November 13.

Meanwhile, Motherwell councillor Paul Kelly spoke during an emergency debate on steel at the Scottish Labour conference in Perth last weekend.