THE Government is "confidently optimistic" about bids to rescue British Steel, North-East politicians and have claimed.

Redcar MP Anna Turley took part in the latest weekly update meeting yesterday with Business Secretary Greg Clark.

Ms Turley said: “The Official Receiver and government continue to work with those companies who are bidding to purchase and they are confidently optimistic about the bids they are developing. No cliff edge has been set for completion of this as everyone recognises it is better to take time and get this right.

“At the meeting this week we discussed the importance of the UK Steel charter which commits government departments, agencies and businesses to use British Steel. Many are making that commitment and more will be encouraged to do so.

“I pay tribute once again to Secretary of State Greg Clark for his commitment to supporting British Steel through this challenge, and I will be looking to the new Prime Minister to make an early statement this week showing his support.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen  added: "The Official Receiver and Government are still in detailed discussions with a series of credible bidders. Our focus remains on selling the business as a whole.

"There have been some rumours about whether salaries will be paid at the end of this month. I want to reassure you all that employees will be paid as normal on 25 July and will continue to be paid for every day worked.

"As I’ve said before, due to the complicated nature of the process, any potential sale will take time to deliver."