KEIR Starmer has promised to “preserve jobs” at Grangemouth oil refinery ahead of his meeting with John Swinney.

Speaking to journalists before meeting with the First Minister the new Prime Minister said that the closure of Scotland's only oil refinery is of “great concern” to him and that it is a priority for him.

Last year Petroineos bosses announced plans to close the site in a move that could lead to the loss of more than 400 jobs despite the owners posting pre-tax annual profits of £107.4m in 2023.

The refinery owners said in November last year the site would “soon be unable to compete effectively” with overseas rivals and plans have been proposed to transition the site into a fuels import terminal.

READ MORE: Glasgow Airport boss calls for Grangemouth oil refinery to become aviation fuel hub

Campaigners and union bosses have called upon both the UK and Scottish governments to step in and help keep the site open to prevent mass job losses.

Speaking with journalists about his priorities for Government, Starmer said: “We will also start, more immediately, with discussions about Grangemouth, which is obviously a source of great concern to me, in terms of what steps we can now take to preserve jobs and ensure the future.”

When pressed for more details, he added: “You will understand I am very concerned about the situation at Grangemouth, I'm now the Prime Minister, it's my duty to do what I can to ensure jobs are preserved, and the future is good, as I'm sure it can be.

“I won't get into details, but it is a real priority for me to work on that.”

The Labour leader is in Edinburgh as part of his tour of the nations to try and smooth working relations between their respective governments.

Starmer has already promised that Scotland will be at the “beating heart” of his new Government ahead of his meeting with Swinney (below) on Sunday evening. 

(Image: PA)

The Prime Minister has also said he would use his talks with the SNP leader to “set the framework within which we can work, I think, better for Scotland, more respectfully for Scotland”.

He told reporters: “I am going to see the First Minister and I intend to reset the relationship between the Westminster government and the Scottish Government.

“And the reason for that is because I’ve got a mandate to deliver for Scotland and I take that really seriously.

“I think it should always be country first, party second. I said that when I was campaigning, I mean it in government and I therefore want a government of service.”