A business minister has insisted the Government has not withdrawn any money from the doomed North East battery project Britishvolt.

Darren Jones, the Labour chairman of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, pressed the minister on Britishvolt, the Northumberland electric car battery maker expected to fall into administration today after failing to secure a buyer.

He told the Commons: “Britishvolt, the once valued £3.8 billion-site of national importance for the production of electric vehicle batteries in our country is today going into administration.

Read more: Britishvolt at Blyth expected to fall into administration

“Does the minister agree with me that the future of UK car manufacturing relies on UK battery production? And if so, what is he going to do about it?”

Kevin Hollinrake replied: “Again, he raises a very important point. It’s important to note that we have not withdrawn any money from Britishvolt but clearly taxpayers money is important. It’s important that we dispense that money in a responsible way.

“There were clear milestones we expect anybody who’s received public money to hit and we are looking at the situation very carefully to make sure they are.”

 Labour MP for Wansbeck, Ian Lavery, hit out at a lack of Government support, saying: “The reports regarding Britishvolt are deeply concerning for the future of this gigafactory and the thousands of much needed jobs it promised to bring to South East Northumberland.

"This development was once the crown jewel of the government’s levelling up policy in the North East but is now in grave danger of collapsing.

"Back in July Boris Johnson when he was the Prime Minister told me that the cheque was in the post to Britishvolt, but the reality is they have never received a penny from the government. If they are serious about levelling up the North East the government needs to put their money where its mouth is and get behind a gigafactory being built on this site in Cambois."

Downing Street said it was aware of the speculation around Britishvolt’s future but would not comment directly on the firm, saying “we will await further updates from that specific company”.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “We continue to take steps to ensure the UK remains one of the best locations in the world for automotive manufacturing as we transition to electric vehicles.

“We are investing record sums in R and D including the recent announcement of £211 million into the Faraday battery challenge.”

One MP says the potential collapse of the project at Cambois means Government intervention could be a potential lifeline as part of any rescue package.

The Northern Echo: It looks like the dream is overIt looks like the dream is over

Ian Levy, the Conservative MP for Blyth Valley said: "If Britishvolt do enter administration, it will be a sad day. The company’s directors and staff have worked very hard, and many millions have been spent.

"I have been a big supporter of this project to build a giga-factory on the Blyth Estuary and I will continue to champion this opportunity. I am in close and regular contact with the Government and the Council and will work with them, the administrators and potential investors in the site to make sure a major project goes ahead, and more new jobs come to our area.

"The UK automotive industry’s need for a battery gigafactory remains and the site on the Blyth Estuary is still the best in the country with a large area, excellent power connectivity, a deep-water port, strong workforce supply and easy access to the national road network.

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"I will be asking the Government to stand by the offer of financial support from the Automotive Transformation Fund for any consortium able to put together a full package." 

Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Business and Industrial Strategy, Jonathan Reynolds MP replied: “Conservative economic failure is costing working people and British business. The Government’s long-term failure on industrial strategy means we’re losing the global race for electric vehicle battery manufacturing putting our world-famous car industry at risk.

"Under this Government local communities are watching businesses shutting their doors, job opportunities going abroad and investment leaving Britain."