INVERCLYDE'S MSP Stuart McMillan has slammed Tesco and Morrisons for not taking the issue of unfair petrol pricing in the district seriously.

Recent research published in the Tele revealed that local motorists are paying more on average than other areas in Scotland to fill up and there have been calls for a boycott of local filling stations.

Mr McMillan recently penned a letter to both Tesco and Morrisons demanding answers as to why Inverclyde residents are being ripped off when fuelling up locally.

While both retailers responded, the SNP man believes that neither adequately addressed the issue of unfair pricing and dodged the question that drivers want to be answered.

Tesco told the MSP their policy was 'to be competitive on price locally', adding: 'We regularly monitor local prices to ensure our fuel is competitively priced compared to the Greenock and Port Glasgow area.

'This does mean there can be a small price variance when two Tesco fuel stations are compared, if one is outside this local area.

'We may not always be the lowest price at a given time, but we strive to be competitive in every community we serve.'

That reply has cut little ice with Mr McMillan, who has also labelled an initial response from Morrisons as 'more of the same old nonsense I have heard before'.

The MSP said: “Both Tesco and Morrisons have claimed to be the cheapest fuel suppliers for motorists – but that simply can’t be the case.

“They might think it’s acceptable to fluctuate between being a couple of pence cheaper or more expensive than each other on any given day or week, but yet again they’ve failed to address my main question – why are people in Inverclyde paying more to fuel up locally than motorists and businesses in places like Paisley and Renfrew?

“I accept that Morrisons have provided an initial response and have committed to investigate the price differential locally, but quite frankly I have yet to see evidence that they take this matter seriously.

“I am happy to be proven wrong – in fact, I hope I am - but this issue has been going on for years and neither supermarket has implemented a new pricing policy that ensures my constituents aren’t paying over the odds to fuel up in Inverclyde.”

The MSP has meanwhile penned a letter to the Chancellor Rishi Sunak, demanding the UK Government intervene to level the playing field on pricing at the petrol pumps.

He added: “Once again, I accept that there are external pressures at play such as the dollar to pound ratio and the war in Ukraine, but as I’ve already said, this isn’t a new issue.

“If the supermarkets won’t heed my calls to deliver lower fuel pump prices for consumers, then the UK Government must introduce policies such as standardised fuel pump prices to stop the postcode lottery.”