Renovation of the Big Ben clock tower – one of the most iconic landmarks of Britain – is being done using steel from Brazil, Germany, and the United Arab Emirates.
A Parliamentary question regarding the preservation of the tower which houses the bell known as the Big Ben unveiled that the enormous steel scaffolding around the building makes use of foreign steel.
MP Stephen Kinnock, whose Aberavon supporters is home to the giant Port Talbot steel plant of Tata, questioned the House of Commons Commission regarding the project which is estimated to cost £61m and see the famous bell hushed for four years.
The news comes as steelmakers of Britain experience intense international competition and struggles to overcome the crisis which agonised the industry two years ago and cost thousands of jobs.
The commission said that the “quantity and size” of the scaffolding meant that some of the steel that are used in it had to be ordered abroad.
Last year, the government promised to release details of prospective infrastructure, public sector and defence projects to expand the steel industry of Britain. By explaining requirements, it is expected that the beleaguered steel steelmakers of Britain be able to better plan for Government work, giving them a larger chance of winning the contracts.
Calling for what he dubbed as a “patriotic procurement policy” for national projects, Kinnock concluded: “Big Ben is seen as symbol of our country around the world, but its renovation is fast becoming a symbol of this government’s indifferent and incompetent approach to our steel industry.
“British steelworkers make the best steel that money can buy, and what’s more they make it right here on our doorstep. If given the right information and sufficient lead-time by the customer, then they can and always deliver.”