Clive Betts Labour Member for Sheffield South East secured an Adjournment Debate on Wednesday evening on the subject of the cancellation of the £80 Million proposed loan to Sheffield Forgemasters and the exposure of lobbying by Andrew Cook, chairman of engineering firm William Cook Holdings who wrote to Conservative Business Minister Mark Prisk calling for the funding to be withdrawn.
Rotherham’s own MP Denis MacShane was also there to lend a hand as was John Healey the Member for Wentworth and the Dearne still sitting on the front bench.** The Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg Member for Sheffield Hallam was strangely absent from this debate.
Previously Nick Clegg had made the following statement: that he regretted the government “cannot afford to support its expansion” but added that “the truth is that this loan was promised by the outgoing Labour government as a calculated ploy to win support in Sheffield just ahead of the election”.
Labour’s cynicism is fully on show here, their promise was essentially deceptive, If the money had existed they would have completed arrangements before the General Election thereby ensuring that no cancellation was possible. They did not because they knew that, if they had won or gone into coalition with the Liberals, they would have had to cancel it themselves. Plain Hypocrisy at work! Nothing new about that then!
** In opposition, Labour MPs get to chose their front bench team by ballot, I wonder where Healey will stand once these elections take place? We shall see!