How many new jobs will be created in Humberside as a result of government and private sector investment in offshore wind?
That’s what was at issue this morning between business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng and BBC journalist Martha Kearney.
Ms Kearney suggested it was 450 jobs, to which the Spelthorne MP replied: “I think it’s more than that, I think it’s about 1,340 jobs.”
The interviewer challenged him: “Those are jobs that are being protected, not created though, aren’t they?”
But Mr Kwarteng doubled down: “No, I think they will be created, that’s my understanding. I don’t know which figures you’re looking at.”
The journalist responded: “Well, I’m looking at the government press release.”
And she’s right. According to the press release published by Mr Kwarteng’s department today, the 1,340 figure refers to jobs “created and protected across the Humber region”.
So what’s the real figure for new jobs?
Siemens Gamesa, one of the two companies to receive today’s grant funding, says “200 new direct jobs [are] to be added”. And the government press release says the other firm, GRI Renewable Industries, is “creating up to 260 direct jobs”.
So it looks like Ms Kearney’s initial estimate of “around 450” is closer to the mark.
A spokesperson for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy told FactCheck: “Today’s announcement creates and safeguards over 1,340 jobs. Hundreds of these, including those confirmed for the long term, would simply not exist without today’s investment.”