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Scottish Secretary will take part in oil crisis summit

Murchison platform
Murchison platform

Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael has confirmed he will contribute to an emergency summit to address the crisis facing the North Sea oil industry.

Aberdeen City Council leader Jenny Laing has called on First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Prime Minister David Cameron to attend the event along with government officials, industry representatives and trade unions.

Last night, the UK and Scottish governments were still waiting for details, although both have indicated a willingness to take party.

It is thought unlikely either Ms Sturgeon or Mr Cameron will attend, and their places are likely to be taken by ministers from their respective cabinets.

Northern isles MP Mr Carmichael and Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie confirmed they would be at the summit.

“I am looking forward to it and for the chance to discuss the best way ahead for our oil industry,” Mr Carmichael said.

“These talks are about the future of a vital industry for Orkney and Shetland, but also the futures of those who work within the sector. It will be important for all attending to set aside any differences and work for a common goal.

“I will be heading to Aberdeen ready to work to find a solution.”

Ms Sturgeon indicated her willingness to contribute to efforts to mitigate the damage to jobs and investment created by the falling global price of oil.

She said: “The Scottish Government will be fully involved in every effort to help the industry. I don’t think we’ve yet received the invitation but when we do we’ll respond positively to that.

“This is a difficult time for the oil industry. I think everybody hopes that it will be a temporary challenge, but it does put a real onus on government to work with the industry to help it through these difficult times.”

Scottish Labour’s shadow energy spokesman Lewis Macdonald said he understood both governments might not be in a position to commit specific ministers until the details of the event were nailed down.

“If governments chose to send appropriate ministers who have responsibility in the field that would obviously be a step in the right direction,” he said.

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