STEPHEN Flynn has defended taking exclusive tickets to Wimbledon from the oil industry giant BP.

The latest entry of the SNP Westminster group leader has shown he accepted two tickets for the tennis tournament at around the value of £1500.

The Aberdeen South MP said “energy companies are fundamental to the prosperity of Aberdeen” and he is pleased with the work BP does in his constituency to contribute to the just transition.

The tickets also came with hospitality, which Wimbledon says allows spectators to enjoy “prime viewing seats”, fine dining and first-class service.

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Reports suggest, based on the date of the register, the gift was accepted on Sunday July 9 when the fourth round of the men’s and women’s singles were played on the centre court. It is not known which match Flynn saw.

Friends of the Earth Scotland previously revealed the oil and gas industry lobbied Scottish ministers on more than 200 occasions under Nicola Sturgeon, an environmental campaign group has revealed.

The campaign group have already raised concerns over the amount of influence the industry has, and the subsequent impact on the Scottish Government’s climate commitments, as well as their lack of opposition to the Rosebank oil and gas field, located west of Shetland.

They called on First Minister Humza Yousaf to end the “open door” policy for the lobby touted by his predecessor Sturgeon following the findings in April.

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When asked about the gift, Flynn told reporters: “Energy companies are fundamental to the prosperity of Aberdeen and will continue to play a key role as we embark on a just energy transition that safeguards jobs and employment in the city I am proud to represent.

“That just energy transition remains the focus of much of my local work and I’m pleased that this includes the hydrogen hub being built in Aberdeen South by BP and the local council – a facility that will produce clean green hydrogen from solar energy; developing the local supply chain and local skills.”

However, Friends of the Earth Scotland climate campaigner Alex Lee said: “It’s deeply inappropriate for politicians to be accepting lavish gifts from mega polluters whilst they are supposed to be transitioning our energy system away from oil and gas.

“As Europe burned from climate breakdown, it is astonishingly poor judgement that the SNP leader thought it was a good time to enjoy the cosy hospitality of one of the main climate culprits at BP.

“Fossil fuel companies have long used their power and resources to lobby decision makers in a bid to push their agenda of climate denial and delay.

“What do BP expect in return for this generosity? People will be asking how much influence the oil industry has over the SNP energy policy.

“Instead of cosying up to polluters, the SNP leadership needs to commit to an end date for fossil fuels well within the decade and redouble efforts for a fair transition away to a renewable powered economy, with affordable heat and transport for all.”