Aberdeen MSP Dennis Robertson has apologised for comments he made which claimed there was “no crisis” in the North Sea oil and gas industry.
The politician has been criticised by workers, unions and politicians for his remarks in Holyrood yesterday.
But the MSP has insisted he is a “strong supporter” of the industry and said he accepted he could have “expressed” himself better after his words received outrage from many working in the industry.
He said:”The sector faces clear and substantial challenges and as politicians it is our job to work with the industry through these difficult times. However, despite current challenges, I believe we must also recognise the continued potential of the North Sea as highlighted by Oil and Gas UK earlier this week when they reported on the first increase in production in 15 years.
“I am well aware of how challenging current conditions are for those working in the oil and gas industry, and have heard directly from many of my constituents how they have been affected over the past year.
“I will be seeking meetings with trade union representatives and Oil and Gas UK in coming weeks to discuss this further.
“It is vital that we work to support the industry and ensure that there is a future both for current staff and for those who wish to go into the industry. I find it disappointing to hear politicians spread negativity around the industry when all parties should be working together to support it.
“I hope that other parties can join the SNP in pushing the UK Government to provide meaningful incentives for exploration in the North Sea, allowing for development of new prospects and ensuring a future for the vital industry and jobs that depend on it.”