SCOTTISH Tory MP Andrew Bowie has been criticised for cosying up to the firm behind the Cambo oil field instead of meeting with workers and communities.

The MP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine has been a vocal opponent of the Stop Cambo campaign, which began in June 2021 after reports that the UK Government were set to sign off on a licence for production in the huge oil field.

After months of campaigning by environmental activists, increasing pressure from the public amid the climate crisis and calls from the UN for an immediate stop to oil and gas exploration to halt global warming, Shell, who owned a 30% stake in the project, pulled investment in December 2021.

A week later, Siccar Point Energy (SPE), the firm with a 70% stake in Cambo, confirmed that the project would be paused while the company “evaluates the next steps”.

Just over a month after SPE’s announcement, board member and non-executive director Graeme Sword was pictured grinning with Bowie in Portcullis House in London.

Bowie tweeted the picture of the pair standing in the foyer of the building which is used to house MPs offices last Wednesday. He wrote: “Great to meet Graeme Sword of Siccar Point Energy regarding developing the Cambo oilfield and future investment in the North Sea – crucial to transition, energy security and the continued economic success of the North East of Scotland.”

The Ferret reported in August last year that SPE is owned by an “ultimate parent” company registered in Luxembourg, which is ranked sixth worst in the world for tax avoidance and financial secrecy. Although there is no suggestion that SPE using the tax haven is illegal, activists dubbed the firm “greedy” and said it showed that Cambo wouldn’t help the economy.

Maggie Chapman, Scottish Greens MSP for North East Scotland, said that workers want to see politicians focussing on “delivering a sustainable future”.

She said: “With independence Scotland can escape a UK Government that is stuck in the past, and lead Europe’s renewable future. We have 25% of Europe’s offshore renewable energy potential, let’s develop it.

“Politicians like Andrew Bowie might never get it, but we know that workers recognise that the age of oil and gas is coming to an end. We owe it to them, and to their communities, to be honest and invest in their futures.”