SAJID Javid stood back and let Teesside iron and steelmaking die, an angry MP has claimed.

Andy McDonald condemned the Business Secretary in a withering attack on the Government, saying it carried out breathtaking industrial vandalism upon Redcar’s stricken works.

He said the Government and Mr Javid “fell asleep at the wheel”, accusing the pair of shying away from meaningful action by hiding behind state aid rules.

He was backed by Redcar MP Anna Turley, who has called for an enquiry into the Government’s actions.

However, Business Minister Anna Soubry, who visited Redcar for talks in a bid to preserve the former SSI UK works and safeguard jobs and redundancy payments, rejected the allegations, saying the Government’s support is unremitting.

But Mr McDonald, MP for Middlesbrough, says that isn’t the case, adding Mr Javid did nothing to intervene in the liquidation process.

He said: “This is an absolute kick in the teeth for the region and Sajid Javid is going to be remembered as the man who let steelmaking die on Teesside.

“It is an act of breathtaking industrial vandalism.

“The signs have been there for months, principally the dumping of steel by China, which put enormous pressure on the UK steel industry.

“But the Government was asleep at the wheel.

“It says it can’t intervene in the liquidation process, but that’s nonsense.

“It could have directed the liquidator to ensure the coke ovens and power plant continued and it could have ensured the blast furnace was properly mothballed to allow its future igniting.

“Mr Javid has that power but sat on his hands.”

The site’s closure provides a haunting reminder of the anguish felt nearly six years ago, when previous owner Corus mothballed the blast furnace after lower orders bit hard.

At the time, about 30 per cent of the workforce had a Middlesbrough postcode, and Mr McDonald said those same people, many of whom were allowed a route back into steelmaking via SSI’s short-lived Teesside venture, now face an incredibly anxious future.

He also said the Government’s £80m emergency funding pot, put forward to help staff and their families, will be meagre once redundancy cash is factored into the equation.

He added: “These were good jobs and there was an entrenched supply chain.

“But they are going to take some replacing and there is nothing on the horizon from the Government to make up the difference.

“If it is right the redundancy payments are up to £20m, the figure of £80m starts to look even more inadequate.”

The Northern Echo contacted the Department for Business for a response to Mr McDonald’s claims, but did not receive a reply.

However, Ms Soubry, speaking on behalf of the Government, said it was doing all it could.

She added: “I had hoped a commercial buyer for the ovens, so this news is very, very disappointing and my thoughts are with workers and their families.

“The Government will continue to focus on making sure we do whatever we can to help people.

“Our package of up to £80m will help with retraining and enable local firms to grow and create jobs.”

But Redcar MP Anna Turley, who last month joined about 2,000 people in a rally on Redcar seafront to save the steelworks, said ministers have walked away.

She said: “The Government has allowed 170 years of steelmaking to fade away with no fight, no determination and no understanding.

“The heart of our local economy has been torn out.”

Fellow Labour MP Tom Blenkinsop, who represents Middlesbrough south and east Cleveland and is chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Steel, added: “The Government has abandoned Teesside.”