“I am really disappointed that this protest is happening this morning. It is causing massive disruption and is incredibly counterproductive when MGT are actually setting a really good example of community engagement with this power plant project.
“80% of the workforce are from Teesside and the surrounding areas, with less than 5% of the labour from overseas. They have worked constructively with the trade unions, are paying NAECI blue book rates, and have funded an employment hub in Grangetown, with two full time employees and two apprentices, to give local people access to opportunities at the site.
“We want other companies to come and bring jobs and invest in our area and to operate on the same lines as MGT, but protests like this undermine the case I have been trying to make to investors to work with the trade unions and employ local labour. It is wrong to blame MGT for previous failures in local recruitment by other construction projects.
“At a time when we are fighting tooth and nail to get more resources for the police, this is also taking attention away from where those resources are desperately needed, and disrupting local residents from their daily business.
“I will always support protests where they are justified but this protest is for the wrong reasons, and sends the wrong message to those looking to invest in Teesside.”