Stephen Metcalfe, MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, last night held an adjournment debate in the House of Commons to discuss the closure of the Coryton Oil Refinery.
Following the debate, Stephen said: “Although the Administrators’ announcement on Tuesday that they had sold Coryton as a fuel terminal made redundant much of the case that I wanted to build to save the Refinery, I was still determined to fight for the constituents that I represent.”
“Despite the disappointment of the announcement, the debate did provide an opportunity to seek answers in public to the questions that I have been asking in private for many weeks and months. I received assurances from the Minister that the case for Coryton has been explored from every angle.”
Stephen told the House, “The closure of Coryton was obviously not the outcome I fought for and the announcement was one that I had hoped never to hear. I believe it represents a sad day for the refining industry in the UK, a sad day for South Essex and above all it was a devastating blow for the hundreds of dedicated workers who have fought so hard to keep the refinery open.”
Whilst Mr Metcalfe received assurances from the Government that all avenues were explored, the MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock has called for a Parliamentary inquiry into the administrative process surrounding closure of Coryton.
Although the Minister accepted that there might be grounds to look at the process, he was less certain that the timing of any such inquiry could possibly be able to save the refinery.
Stephen Metcalfe MP commented: “I remain committed to ensuring that everyone, from the work force and the bond holders to each and every stakeholder, has been treated fairly by this process. I am hoping that an inquiry will ensure that this is the case.”
The Government has assured Coryton workers that they are now doing everything that they can to support those who have lost their jobs and have stated that they will do everything possible to bring new jobs and prosperity to the area.