SNP DIALS 999 IN SEARCH FOR MISSING TORY NORTH SEA OIL ‘AMBASSADOR’
The Tories have broken a key promise made to the Scottish oil and gas sector during one of its most challenging periods.
On a visit to Aberdeen in January 2016, then Tory Prime Minister David Cameron announced the appointment of an Oil and Gas Ambassador “to help ensure the best possible access for UK companies to markets overseas, promote the North Sea around the world and boost inward investment”.
In an embarrassing revelation it is obvious that 19 months later no appointment has been made, with the Tories having quietly ditch the idea completely.
The new UK Energy Minister, Richard Harrington MP admitted to having no knowledge of the proposal for an Oil and Gas Ambassador, despite it being announced by the former Prime Minister. He also said he knows little about the energy industry either!
In the course of enquiries into what became of the idea, the UK Tory Government sought to cover up the fact it had been ditched, with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) blaming the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and BEIS in turn blaming the DTI.
Patricia Gibson MP said:
“This is a real embarrassment for the Tories.
“Not only have they broken promises made to the oil and gas industry they have tried to sweep their inaction under the carpet.
“The UK Tory Government simply cannot be trusted on oil and gas and should devolve powers over energy to the Scottish Parliament, in order that we can nurture the industry and ensure it continues to evolve and develop using new technology.”
Scottish Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse MSP also called on the UK Government to “give us the power in Scotland” to North Sea industry chiefs at a meeting in Aberdeen, saying:
“Some of the key levers are not under the SNP Government’s control. Nevertheless, we are encouraging UK ministers to think positively about changes that might help the industry, on areas like decommissioning to grow that supply chain and with late life assets to help the industry help secure the existing infrastructure while investing in new facilities.”