Put steel jobs first says SNP hopeful after billionaire boss of Liberty speaks out
Put jobs first – that is the direct appeal in regard to Liberty Steel by the Scottish National Party candidate for Motherwell and Wishaw Clare Adamson.
The candidate has welcomed assurances from Liberty Steel owner Sanjeev Gupta and urged the company to protect the livelihood of its staff in the Motherwell area whose proud industrial heritage has been built on steel.
However she has stressed that that the focus should fall on canny forward planning by putting more cash into re-investment in a quest to protect those jobs.
The recent collapse of Greensill Capital, the main source of finance for Mr Gupta’s GFG Alliance, led to fears over the company’s UK steel operations - which includes the Dalzell plant in Motherwell.
Responding to concerns yesterday (Tuesday) Mr Gupta insisted that his “global business is profitable” and that “under my watch none of my steel operations will close in the UK.”
Ms Adamson welcomed Mr Gupta’s commitment as she has already raised fears about the prospect of redundancies.
Ms Adamson was a member of the Scottish Government’s Steel Task Force, which was integral in securing jobs and production at Dalzell when the plant was mothballed by previous owners Tata in 2015.
She said: “Motherwell is synonymous with steel and many people worked so hard to secure a future for the Dalzell plant.
“Workers need and deserve certainty so Mr Gupta's commitment over Liberty's UK steel operations is welcome.
“New investment and refinancing must prioritise the jobs at the heart of this business.
“We have to protect local jobs and a sector that is hugely significant for the wider Scottish economy.”
Born in India in 1971 into a wealthy industrialist family, Mr Gupta has been termed ‘”the saviour of steel’ and ‘the world’s most ambitious industrialist’ by influential Forbes magazine.
An Economics graduate of Cambridge University, father-of-three Mr Gupta says he has just had two holidays in his life and one was his honeymoon when he married his Essex-born company treasurer Nicola.