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Steel Industry

Volume 496: debated on Wednesday 15 July 2009

9. What recent discussions he has had with the First Minister on the future of the steel industry in Wales; and if he will make a statement. (285614)

Order. Once again, there is far too much noise from both sides of the Chamber. It does not look or sound very good to the public.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Wales has a long, proud history of steelmaking, and the UK Government and the Welsh Assembly Government remain committed to supporting the industry. We fully recognise that these are difficult times, but my hon. Friend can be assured that this Government stand four-square alongside the industry.

I thank the Minister for his reply. In order to build on the very good relations that have long existed between the steel unions—led by the largest union, Community—and the employers, Corus, will he and the Secretary of State consider working with the First Minister of the Welsh Assembly Government to call a Welsh steel summit to ensure the long-term security and integrity of steelmaking in Wales?

I know that the UK-level steel summit has been extremely successful, and I believe that my hon. Friend has made a good point. Wales would certainly benefit from having a similar summit, bringing together Corus, the union Community, members of local communities and everyone who has a stake in the future of the industry. I certainly believe that that would be useful.