Aberdeen MP Callum McCaig will today urge the Scottish Tories to reach out to their Westminster colleagues to ensure incentives for encouraging North Sea exploration are brought forward in the Autumn Statement.
The SNP energy spokesman accused Ruth Davidson and her MSPs of staying “silent” on the issue.
He also argued that if the Scottish Tory leader could stand up to Theresa May over her “awful immigration rhetoric”, she could try to exert some influence with the Treasury.
Conservative North East MSP Ross Thomson hit back immediately, insisting his boss had the “ear of the chancellor”.
Pointing to her role in securing the Aberdeen City Deal and recent “radical” tax cuts, he stressed she was “always involved” behind the scenes.
And he declared the industry was only able to weather the current storm because of the “broad shoulders of the UK”.
Mr McCaig’s intervention comes after Chancellor Philip Hammond’s right-hand man David Gauke dashed hopes of further support at the Tory conference earlier this month.
The Treasury chief secretary appeared to rule out any more help in light of the “very recent” measures introduced by Mr Hammond’s predecessor George Osborne, which included scrapping the petroleum revenue tax (PRT) and reducing the supplementary charge to 10% – backdated to the start of the year.
His comments provoked a storm of criticism, but Baroness Neville-Rolfe – the new senior energy minister – has since insisted her government’s commitment to the future of the oil and gas sector is not in doubt.
And at Wednesday’s Scottish Questions, speculation grew that exploration incentives could in fact be brought forward next month after junior energy minister Jesse Norman described the issue as one of “some focus for the government”.
Mr McCaig, who represents the south of the city, yesterday urged the Scottish Conservatives to speak up and put pressure on the Treasury, claiming he had not heard “a peep”.
He said: “I’m looking for, not just the North East MSPs, but also for Ruth Davidson and the Scottish Tories as a whole to reach out to their colleagues in Westminster to ensure there is support forthcoming in the Autumn Statement to provide the incentives that are required in terms of exploration, to give the oil and gas industry the long-term future it can have.
“If they are not willing or able then you have to question the point of them being there.
“If Ruth Davidson’s willing to call out the prime minister on her awful rhetoric around immigration, which she was right to do, she could call for support for an industry that employs tens of thousands of people and that requires help.”
Mr Thomson insisted the Scottish Tories were in “incredibly close contact” with London.
He told Mr McCaig that the reaching out he is calling for had been going on and was continuing behind the scenes.
“We will continue to work with the industry to ensure the North Sea is productive and we make the most of the resource that is left,” he added.
Oil and Gas UK, which has focused on efficiency and driving down the cost base, wants the UK Government to introduce measures enabling tax history to be transferred upon an asset sale to facilitate the trading of assets and to encourage new entrants to the market.