GMB, the steel workers’ union, is to hold urgent talks with Tata Steel over job loss fears following reports over the weekend that plans exist to shut down two blast furnaces and replace them with electric arc furnaces (EAFs).

Such a move, it is claimed, could lead to thousands of job losses in the UK.

"We spoke to Tata Steel senior management over the weekend to discuss these reports. The company will be arranging a meeting of the UK Steel Committee as soon as possible," said GMB national officer Ross Murdoch.

Mr Murdock continued, “At this meeting GMB and sister steel unions will be seeking a response and clarification from the company.

"Through our regular meetings with BEIS, GMB has become aware some steel companies have sought Government support as they navigate their way through the covid-19 pandemic.

“GMB has joined the call on Ministers to provide stimulus to safeguard the industry and drive the next phase of recovery and growth – but any support must secure jobs of our members in the steel industry.

“GMB will fight to protect our members' jobs in Port Talbot and ensure the prosperity they – and the wider supply chain – bring to the town remains."