Workington's Conservative candidate has responded to Labour's manifesto pledge for steelworks to be reopened in the area and new nuclear plants to be opened.

Sue Hayman, Labour's candidate for Workington, announced that as part of her party's manifesto she would create a recycled steel plant in Workington, creating jobs and putting the town at the forefront of the country’s steel industry.

Workington Conservative candidate Mark Jenkinson said: "Labour claim they would invest in the nuclear industry, yet their leader has had a hard-line anti-nuclear stance for years.

“Their manifesto makes a commitment to nuclear new-build in Wales without committing a single pound in their funding plans, and makes no mention of Cumbria - the home of nuclear. Their plans to nationalise the energy industry would decimate plans for West Cumbria to host some of the first Advanced Modular Reactors in the UK.

“The steel recycling process requires coal, and Sue Hayman has consistently refused to back West Cumbria Mining in their endeavours to extract coal in Copeland."

However Labour's model for steel recycling would use an electric arc furnace to melt scrap metal and turn it into high quality steel, as used in machine tools and spring steel. Increasingly it is also being used to create alloy and stainless grades as well as some special carbon and low-alloy steels.

The electric arc furnace can be powered using 100% renewable energy; it is electric-powered so no coal is required. It works by lowering electrodes into the scrap steel; a powerful electric current is passed through the electrodes, an arc is created, and the heat generated melts the scrap. Lime and fluorspar are added as fluxes and oxygen is blown into the melt. Modern electric arc furnaces can make up to 150 tonnes of steel in a single melt.

Mr Jenkinson  added: “Steel recycling without coal and investment without spending just highlight some of the many failures in their manifesto, which Mrs Hayman is 'proud to have been involved in writing'.

“Meanwhile, its publication has just confirmed what we already knew, Jeremy Corbyn would wreck the economy with a £1.2 trillion spending spree costing every taxpayer £2,400 a year. In fact the independent Institute for Fiscal Studies have branded his plans not credible."