The steel industry was plunged into crisis last night with thousands of jobs at risk after reports that Tata Steel is to leave Britain.
A steelworker outlining the problems during a protest march in Scunthorpe last year. Photograph: Lindsey Parnaby/EPA
At least 4,000 jobs and the reputation of Wales as the crucible of British steelworking were in jeopardy as sources indicated that the owner of the giant Port Talbot steel mills no longer wanted to invest hundreds of millions of pounds in the UK industry.
After a day of senior executive meetings at the Mumbai headquarters of Tata Steel, Sky News said that the Indian industrial group was planning to quit steelmaking in Britain completely.
Port Talbot is thought to be losing £300 million a year as the steel it produces for the automotive and consumer goods industries fails to be competitively priced in a market racked by stock-dumping in the Far East and at home by punitive domestic environmental and energy consumption taxes.