Scottish Labour has called on the Tory government to provide more support for the North Sea oil and gas sector.

Oil and Gas UK said the industry is “now in better shape to compete for much-needed investment and confidence is slowly returning” ahead of Chancellor Philip Hammond’s budget tomorrow.

The industry body has called for measures to improve the competitiveness of the supply chain and build resilience through diversification and exporting.

The comments come after Tory energy spokesperson Alexander Burnett MSP claimed the North Sea doesn’t need any more government support.

Scottish Labour has consistently argued for support for the oil and gas sector since the downturn in 2015 and published an oil and gas strategy providing short, medium and long-term support for the industry.

Scottish Labour Economy spokesperson Jackie Baillie MSP said:

“Oil is an integral part of the north-east economy -; not a bonus.

“So it is welcome that Oil and Gas UK believes the North Sea industry is turning a corner.

“But we need firm action now from the UK and Scottish Governments to ensure momentum is not lost.

“The response to the oil price downturn from the Tories and the SNP so far has been timid at best, despite thousands of people losing their jobs.

“The crisis in the industry is inconvenient for the SNP, but that doesn’t mean it can be ignored by the Nationalists.  

“And the Tories have also failed to do enough to help the sector.

“Scottish Labour has called for the Tory government to set-up a public body in tough times to secure the long-term future of infrastructure and assets in the North Sea.”<

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