Tata Steel Port Talbot

Negotiations to save around 15,000 British steel jobs have failed after Tata Steel said it plans to sell its loss-making plants.

Think tank IPPR has estimated that closure of the plants would result in around 40,000 job losses across the plants themselves and Tata Steel's supply chain.

Steel union leaders and Aberavon MP Stephen Kinnock travelled to Mumbai yesterday (Tuesday) in an attempt to dissuade Tata from closing the Port Talbot plant - the biggest in the UK, which serves around 9,000 jobs itself. But Tata told its European holding company to "explore all options for restructuring", including the entire or partial sale of its plants.

The company has now said that it 'cannot commit' to keeping the plants open while a buyer is found. The plans also affect Tata's plants in Rotherham, Corby and Shotton.

UK small business minister, Anna Soubry, said the government was considering "all options" to salvage the plants and thousands of jobs. It suggests that the UK government could provide financial support, or even nationalise the plants, but Ms Soubry stressed that any action taken by the government must sit within EU state aid rules.

Tata Steel said: "These factors [trading conditions] are likely to continue into the future and have significantly impacted the long-term competitive position of the UK operation."

In the face of strong public criticism, the Welsh and UK governments released a joint statement. It said: "We remain committed to working with Tata and the unions on a long-term sustainable future for British steel-making.

"Both the UK and Welsh governments are working tirelessly to look at all viable options to keep a strong British steel industry at the heart of our manufacturing base."

The Welsh Assembly has been recalled to debate the issue on Monday. And Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has called on Prime Minister David Cameron to recall the UK Parliament.

Stephen Kinnock said: "The fact that Tata Steel is committed to continuing and to moving forward with the plant whilst looking for a buyer... is absolutely critical.

"There were various scenarios before we came out here... We are now a little bit clearer on which scenario we now have and it isn't certainly the worst case scenario."