Tata Steel "wants to end UK operations within four months"

TATA Steel wants to end its UK operations “within four months”, the shadow business secretary told MPs.

Speaking during an emergency debate on the steel crisis in the House of Commons on Tuesday, Angela Eagle said the company had told her it wanted to end its work in the country by August.

The debate - which lasted around three-and-a-half hours - featured speeches from Ms Eagle, business minister Sajid Javid, business secretary Anna Soubry and other backbench MPs.

But readers contacted the Advertiser to ask about the lack of input from the borough’s MPs to the debate.

Rotherham MP Sarah Champion was present for the first half of the debate but said she had to leave to attend a child abuse meeting.

Ms Champion said: “The fact I was only able to attend the first half of the steel debate should not be seen as a reflection of my unwavering support for the industry.

“Unfortunately, as we were given less than 24 hours’ notice of the emergency debate on steel I was only able to attend the first half of the discussion and was unable to cancel the child abuse session I was hosting that had over 50 people attending.”

A spokeswoman for John Healey, MP for Wentworth and Dearne, said parliamentary rules mean he was not able to contribute to the debate as he is a member of the shadow cabinet.

Kevin Barron, Rother Valley MP, was not able to attend the debate because he was at the launch of a report by Action on Smoking and Health about the impact of smoking on people with mental health problems, a spokesman said. 

He said Mr Barron had another meeting straight after the report launch.

Don Valley MP Caroline Flint was present in parliament during the debate and did comment.