DUNFERMLINE MP Douglas Chapman MP has formally asked Theresa May to visit West Fife to meet the workers building aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales and consider what other contracts might be awarded to the Rosyth workforce.

The Prime Minister was challenged at Westminster by Mr Chapman a few weeks ago after the decision to put £1 billion shipbuilding contracts to international tender was announced.

The Dunfermline MP described the decision as a "Tory betrayal" at Prime Minister’s Questions and invited her to Rosyth to explain to dockworkers "why she has denied them work" when hundreds are being made redundant.

Babcock have announced that 400 jobs will be cut at Rosyth as work for the aircraft carriers draws to an end.

Mr Chapman said: "The PMQ I asked hit the headlines but to date there has been no response from Mrs May's office regarding a visit.

"I really do think she needs to see first-hand the true skills of our workforce here in West Fife and we also want to take the opportunity of making sure that when other contracts are up for offer, the Westminster Government in London knows exactly what our Scottish workforce can achieve within time and within budget.

"Since the PMQ was asked, we've also had published the Confederation of Shipbuilding and Engineering Unions report on the fleet support ship contracts which, if Westminster gets it way, will be awarded to a foreign yard. We really need the Prime Minister to tell the workforce here that while they are being paid off, her government is awarding naval ship contracts outside these islands."

Mrs May told the Dunfermline MP at PMQs that the national shipbuilding strategy was focusing on giving the Royal Navy the ships it needed while increasing economic growth across the country and investing in a more skilled workforce, so they could encourage a more competitive industry in shipbuilding.

She said the building of three Fleet Solid Support (FSS) ships was subject to international competition to "secure the best possible value for money" for the UK taxpayer.

In his letter to the Prime Minister, Mr Chapman once again asked her to visit Rosyth Dockyard so she could see the skills and resources already available in the UK.

He wrote: "Ensuring Fleet Solid Support (FSS) ships are built in the UK is a win-win for everyone; it would generate new jobs, support the retention of existing skills and bolster the future of the shipbuilding industry in this country.

"It is therefore imperative that the contract is tendered only to UK yards and is not opened up to foreign competition."