THOUSANDS of further jobs in the British Steel supply chain could be at risk than first thought.

New figures in a report claiming more than 8,395 further jobs could be under threat has been branded “shocking” by an MP.

In the aftermath of the collapse of Britain’s second-largest steel producer, which has a main site in Scunthorpe and operates smaller plants within the North-East and North Yorkshire, it was thought 20,000 jobs in the supply chain could be at risk.

However, a new report by trade union, the GMB has now claimed this figure is significantly higher with 28,395 jobs in the supply chain, at risk across the country.

On Teesside, British Steel operates at the Lackenby Works in Redcar and at a site in Skinningrove, North Yorkshire.

Responding to the claims in the report, Redcar MP Anna Turley said: “These figures are a shocking reminder of what is at stake if the future of British Steel is not secured.

“When SSI in Redcar closed in we felt the knock on effects through the whole supply chain.

“Many more jobs were lost, on top of those at the steelworks, and some businesses had to close for good under the weight of unpaid contracts.

“It was a devastating blow and it showed how short-sighted the government’s decision to opt of a hard closure was.

“The lesson has been learnt this time and we have time to find a buyer.

“Steel is a strategic industry, underpinning Britain’s manufacturing sector and supporting thousands of skilled jobs.

“It would be unthinkable to allow it to shrink any further.”

As British Steel went into liquidation in May, Ms Turley urged the government to ‘guarantee’ its future.

The report published by the GMB said British Steel’s last annual report said it had 4,238 employees, but 'analysis' claimed the number of those working in the supply chain was higher at 28,395.

Ross Murdoch, national officer at GMB, said: “There are far more than 30,000 jobs at stake at British Steel, directly and through the supply chain. It’s much worse than had been feared.”

“GMB members are showing today that the fight for jobs at British Steel is a fight our whole union will get behind.

“There is outrage across the country at the prospect of indispensable foundation industries like British steel going to the wall, while the Government simply sits on its hands. The UK has lost almost half a million manufacturing jobs in the last decade and while the Tory Party leadership candidates debate how much they want to cut the taxes of the richest, our members are looking at a bleak and uncertain future. A continuing decline in manufacturing is not inevitable, but we need action to protect the skilled, well-paid jobs our proud industries can provide and support.”

Talks remain ongoing over the potential buyer of the firm.