EAST Thurrock MP Stephen Metcalfe said the Government did all it could to save the Coryton oil refinery.

The Tory MP said it wouldn't have been in the best interest of the tax payers if the Government had bought the refinery, but it has worked hard to support it while a long term solution was sought.

He said: “Over the last four months there have been a number calls for the Government to do more to save the Coryton Refinery.

“ I want to state for the record that the Government has done all it can to support the Refinery and the process of finding a long term solution to the Refinery’s problems.

“The Government have been involved at every stage and continues to support the administrators in seeking to find a solution.

“The fact is the Government is not in the refining business and has to balance the needs of the workers at the refinery and the demands of the taxpayer.

“The idea that the Government should spend more than a billion dollars to buy the refinery is not credible and would not be acting in the best interest of the taxpayer.”

He added: ““There may have been an argument that the Government could have provided some form of guarantee had a workable restructuring plan been an option, but that is not the case and not a viable alternative.”

“The announcement yesterday is an outcome that none of us had wanted.

“I have worked closely with the refinery to explore a number of options and had hoped and still hope that a solution can be found which would secure the hundreds of jobs the Refinery supports.

“I and the Government will continue to do what can be done, and I will not give up hope until every option has been fully explored.”