By Daniel Hunter

Business minister Matthew Hancock has told parliament that the UK's steel industry as a "bright" future, despite Tata Steel's decision to sell its UK facilities.

Mr Hancock said the government "would make sure we support those affected" but couldn't rule out job losses among the 6,000 workers from Tata Steel's Long Products division.

The business minister said "employment in steel manufacturing has gone up in the last few years" and stressed that the government would "support steel manufacturing in the UK."

Community, the group which represents steelworkers, said: "We were particularly concerned with the minister's apparent willingness to mitigate job losses rather than try to prevent them."

Tata Steel announces plans to sell its Long Products division, which manufactures transport rails and steel sections for use in construction, heavy industry and excavation, to the Klesch Group.

Gary Klesch, the billionaire chairman of the Klesch Group, told the BBC that job cuts were not guaranteed, but later admitted that the UK's steel sector was "toppy", which means overstaffed.

Community and the GMB and Unite unions have expressed disappointment that they were not consulted before Tata announced its decision to sign a memorandum of understanding with Klesch Group.

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