Metcalfe puts record straight on “Invisible man of Coryton” criticism
Date posted: 14-06-2012
UNDER-FIRE MP FOR South Basildon and East Thurrock, Stephen Metcalfe has countered criticisms that he has been less than pro-active in dealing with the Coryton crisis.
Labour MEP Richard Howitt has had a very high profile both in Corringham and in Europe. Thurrock Council leader, cllr John Kent has spearheaded a number of task groups and recovery initiatives, Mr Metcalfe has appeared to have taken a back seat.
In his defence, he has outlined a number of meetings he has had with the Energy Minister, Charles Hendry as well as other initiatives. But Mr Hendry’s own performance and/or the work of his advisers has been slammed.
Caroline Flint, Labour’s Shadow Energy and Climate Change, has accused ministers of not doing their homework, after the European Commission denied that the British Government had sought their advice on whether Government assistance would be allowed to keep the Coryton Oil Refinery open and save 850 jobs– even though ministers claimed the reason they can’t step in is because of EU rules.
Caroline Flint said:
“With 850 jobs on the line the Government should be doing everything it can to keep Coryton open. People will be shocked that the Government doesn’t appear to have even bothered to consult the European Commission when ministers are claiming EU rules are the reason they can’t step in. If the French Government can provide assistance to keep their refinery open, people will want to know why the British Government won’t do the same here.
“If Coryton closes and 850 people lose their jobs all because this Government didn’t do its homework, ministers will have very serious questions to answer.”