Prime minister questioned by local MP


Sir Robert Smith MP last week called on the Prime Minister to reconfirm the Government’s commitment to the North Sea oil and gas industry.

The call came following the Cabinet reshuffle and the publication of the Government’s response to the Wood Review.

In a written statement, Energy Secretary Ed Davey announced that the Government will be contributing short-term funding of £15 million over five years to help launch the establishment of a new arms’-length regulatory body, as recommended by Sir Ian Wood in his review of the oil and gas industry.

Responding to the Secretary of State’s announcement, Sir Robert said: “Implementing the findings of the Wood Review is fundamental to the future of the North Sea oil and gas industry.

“I welcome the Prime Minister’s commitment to acting on Sir Ian Wood’s recommendations when I pressed him on this at Prime Minister’s Questions.

“I am particularly pleased that my Lib Dem colleague, Ed Davey, has confirmed that the Government will contribute funding to help kick-start progress towards the establishment of a new regulatory body that will be based in Aberdeen.

“I hope that the industry will be reassured by the urgency that the Government is showing.”

Sir Robert had earlier called on David Cameron to reconfirm the Government’s commitment to the industry at Prime Minister’s Questions in the wake of his pre-election reshuffle.

He said: “The Treasury Minister and the Energy Minister... have changed yet again...will he take this opportunity to reconfirm the commitment to implement the Wood Review...”

Mr Cameron responded: “North Sea oil is absolutely vital.

“Making sure we have the tax regime appropriately in place and implementing the Wood Review is absolutely something we’re committed to.”