Sturgeon to meet BP bosses after jobs axe

Picture: TSPL
Picture: TSPL
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Nicola Sturgeon is to hold showdown talks with BP chiefs in Aberdeen after the firm unveiled plans for hundreds of North Sea jobs losses.

The First Minister has also called for a multi-million pound city deal provide support for crisis-hit Aberdeen to be agreed as a “matter urgency” in a letter to Prime Minister David Cameron

The SNP leader today unveiled plans to visit the Granite City next month and meet with BP chiefs amid criticism that the SNP Government is doing enough to face up to the problems facing the city over the global oil price crash.

BP announced it would axe 600 North Sea earlier this month as oil prices continue to tumble.

A spokeswoman for Ms Sturgeon said the meeting will cover a range of issue.

She said: “It will discuss jobs, it will discuss BP’s commitment to the North Sea and it will discuss additional support the industry might need their long terms, their view on the future.

“So it will cover the broad range of issues facing the industry and the North East.”

Discussions will also be held with Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce.

Ms Sturgeon’s letter to the Prime Minister calls for a three-way agreement between the Scottish and UK governments and the local councils to be struck quickly.

It states: “Given the current situation in Aberdeen, with significant private sector job losses announced in recent weeks by the oil and gas industry, it is vital that Government sends a strong and unequivocal signal that it is fully supportive of the region’s position as a global oil and gas hub.

“The city deal provides a good opportunity to signal our respective governments’ support for the region. Against that backdrop, I am supportive of moving as soon as possible to agree the Aberdeen city deal.”

Proposals include a new innovation hub to support the transition from an operations base to a global centre for technology and R&D investment. It will also pave the way for diversifying the economy, building on existing strengths in biopharmaceuticals, agri-food and drink.

Ms Sturgeon adds: “I am prepared for the Scottish Government to fund the deal on a 50:50 basis and to work with you, as a matter of urgency, to bring this to fruition. As a sign that both ourselves, your government and the local councils are doing all we can to address the issue, proceeding to a tri-partite agreement as soon as possible would be welcome.”