🔴A very sad day to see the last workers leaving Orb, which has been part of the fabric of Newport and the Welsh steel industry for over 120 years. We paid tribute today to the workers & trade union representatives who did everything they could to fight for the future of the plant.
Orb’s closure is also a massive missed opportunity for the country as a whole – this was the only site in the UK capable of producing the electric steels needed for electric vehicles – which the Prime Minister had previously claimed he wanted Britain to be a world leader in. As I’ve emphasised repeatedly in Parliament and in meetings with ministers, the situation at Orb raises a generation-defining question for the government – do we want to be a country that manufactures or one that just imports? Orb should never have been allowed to close, and we need a comprehensive UK industrial strategy if we are to avoid future days like these. Its a time for action to save our steel industry.
Standing outside Orb today I was reminded of Community Union rep Paul Horton, who passed away last year. Paul put his heart & soul into fighting for the steel industry & for Orb – where he and so many colleagues had worked throughout their lives. Thinking of him today as well as all the workers and families past and present to whom Orb meant so much.