Fuel prices could increase if the Government does not step in to help save an oil refinery from closure, ministers have been warned.
Unions and an MEP said it was in the national interest to keep open the Coryton refinery in Essex, which supplies 20% of fuel to London and the South East.
The refinery has gone into administration and faces being shut down within weeks, with the loss of several hundred jobs.
Unite and the GMB said the Government should take urgent action to save the site, while Labour MEP Richard Howitt said the coalition should buy shares as part of a rescue deal.
Tony Burke, assistant general secretary of Unite, warned that the closure of Coryton could lead to fuel prices rising.
He said: "Not only will Coryton's closure rip the heart out of the community, it will also further undermine the UK's already fragile refining industry. The national economy relies on oil and the security and continuity of its supply. It is simply too important to fall victim to speculators and the whim of the market."
Copyright Press Association 2012