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Labour Candidate Blasts Lack Of Tory Action On Mine

Labour Candidate Blasts Lack Of Tory Action On Mine

Published by Yorkshire Coast Radio News at 5:41pm 19th September 2019. (Updated at 10:16am 20th September 2019)

Recent revelations regarding Sirius Minerals’ half-term report, has brought a stinging attack from Labour's parliamentary candidate for Scarborough and Whitby, Hugo Fearnley.

He said:

"Like many people in this constituency, I am both shocked and dismayed at the lack of action from the Tories. Vital employment opportunities and economic growth for the people of Whitby, Scarborough and Teesside, are now at risk.

"This Government and the local Tory MP's, Robert Goodwill and Simon Clarke love to trumpet the 'Northern Powerhouse' but their lack of action for the people of this area is there for all to see once again.

Mr Johnson said he was committed to supporting the North but he’s turned his back on us at his first test, putting thousands of jobs at risk. Labour would work with Sirius to examine the support a Labour Government could provide.”

MP for Scarborough & Whitby Mr Goodwill told Yorkshire Coast Radio earlier this week:

"I think the answer from the Government is the final answer.

I've already been involved; I spoke directly to the Prime Minster on the 2nd of September and I spoke to Treasury Ministers that week.

I know the Mayor of Tees Valley, Ben Houchen, has also spoken to Ministers including Jake Berry, who's the Northern Powerhouse Minister. 

So we made as many representations as we could, we explored every single angle to bring pressure to bear.

It appears that this is something quite unprecedented; not the sort of thing the Treasury would normally do.

I think their view is, is that there's a lot of money around the world, looking for a safe house to invest; a lot of big mining companies around the world who are looking for new projects and maybe by going it alone, Sirius have maybe bitten off a little bit more than they can chew and they need to find a big, strong partner to help bring this project to fruition."

Mr Fearnley added that he feels the mine was seen by many locals as a chance to reinvigorate the economic fortunes of the area:

“Having grown up here, I have seen the decline of the fishing industry and know we have a serious lack of decent, well paid jobs in the constituency. Many local folk have invested directly in the mine as they saw real potential; not just for themselves but for the development of the whole area.

I am in contact with Rebecca Long-Bailey, Shadow Business Secretary, and I am seeking meetings with representatives of Sirius Minerals to further understand the current funding challenges and to discuss ways in which a future Labour Government could potentially support the project.”

Gareth Edmunds, External Affairs Director at Sirius Minerals, said:

"We've been focused since the day we started this project, which is nearly nine years now, on delivering it.

We've known that there's always been challenges to overcome; we've overcome a number of those challenges.

We're two and a half years into construction; we've made fantastic progress across the sites, we've got customers around the world who wants to buy this product, and now we need to find a way during this strategic review process to fund the remainder of the project."

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