Steel firm is among several companies meeting world leaders to discuss state aid

Steel giant Corus is among the latest wave of firms meeting prime minister Gordon Brown over the possibility of receiving state aid.

Philippe Varin, chief executive of the group owned by Tata Steel, is among business leaders meeting Brown this afternoon to seek financial help from the taxpayer.

According to a report in the Financial Times, Varin will ask for financial help to keep hundreds or thousands of Corus workers at home temporarily but on the books, rather than making them redundant. The firm has already cut 500 of its 25,000 UK jobs over the past month.

This afternoon’s meeting will involve Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, and José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, and will focus on a Europe-wide package to address the recession. The political leaders will then meet business chiefs from firms including Corus.