1st April, 2016 by Luke James
Steel petition blasts through threshold for debate in Parliament in under a day
SUPPORT for Jeremy Corbyn’s petition calling for an immediate recall of Parliament soared past the 100,000 mark yesterday amid a clamour for action over the steel crisis.
The Labour leader launched the official online petition after Tata Steel announced its plan to flog off its British operations on Wednesday.
In less than 24 hours it smashed through the threshold needed to trigger a debate in Parliament.
It states: “David Cameron must take immediate action to act to protect the steel industry and the core of manufacturing in Britain.
“Join me in calling for Parliament to be recalled to hold the government to account as an urgent priority.”
The Prime Minister claimed yesterday that the government was “doing everything it can” to save the industry.
But Mr Cameron is refusing to summon holidaying MPs back to Westminster to debate the future of British steel.
Mr Corbyn said: “It’s not good enough for David Cameron to stand by and say the situation is difficult.
“He should listen to over 100,000 people who’ve already signed the petition calling for Parliament to be recalled to debate this crisis.
“He must act now to protect the heart of manufacturing industry and take a public stake in steel.”
Without an early recall, the issue will not be debated for at least another two weeks, with MPs currently due to return on April 11.
Green MP Caroline Lucas has also written to the PM to demand an immediate recall of Parliament.
She said: “Time is now of the essence.
“Opposition parties need to collectively step up to the plate vacated by Tory ministers, and come together to formulate a plan not only for protecting the 40,000 jobs now at risk, but ensuring a long-term, low-carbon future for Britain’s steel industry.”
Unite general secretary Len McCluskey told Radio 4’s Today programme: “This is an industrial crisis of enormous proportions.
“That’s why we’re appealing to the PM to take personal responsibility and to recall Parliament.”
The Welsh Assembly has already been recalled for an emergency debate on Monday following a request from Labour First Minister Carwyn Jones.
The highest number of signatures to the petition was from the Aberavon constituency which contains the Port Talbot steelworks.