Yet, as the extent of former premier David Cameron’s undue influence is compounded by the failure of the Civil Service to uphold the highest standards of probity expected of taxpayers, the various inquiries now under way must not detract from the urgency of a quite separate matter – the future of the steel industry.
As steelworkers at the Stocksbridge, Rotherham and Scunthorpe plants are left in limbo as their owners, Liberty Steel, look to refinance after the loss of Greensill’s support, there’s a chance to turn this sector into a world leader in green steel. In a landmark year when the eyes of the world are on Britain ahead of the COP26 climate change summit, the IPPR North think-tank sets out how this once carbon-intensive industry – a fulcrum of British manufacturing and engineering – can achieve zero carbon status by 2035.
What is needed, however, is joined-up government and the political willpower to maximise the potential of electrification, carbon capture storage and hydrogen technologies as Yorkshire, and Teesside, forge of a new future with green energy at the core of the North’s economy.
The benefits for both the economy and environment are limitless – but will only be accrued if the London Government listens to the valid lobbying of IPPR North and others rather than the exhortations of the now discredited David Cameron.