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Starmer vows Scotland ‘will lead clean energy revolution’ as unions raise job fears



“With Labour, Scotland will lead the clean energy revolution,” he said. “We will set up Great British energy to give Scotland the future it deserves. Cut your bills for good, boost our energy security, and it’ll be headquartered here in Scotland.”

The visit comes after unions criticised Sir Keir’s ban on new North Sea licences without a plan for just a transition.

Last week, Sharon Graham, the General Secretary of Unite, said workers in oil and gas are “at risk of becoming the coal miners of our generation.”

The union – Labour’s biggest donor at the 2019 general election – wants to see more specific pledges of investment in green technologies.

They have warned that more than £6bn is needed over the next six years for wind turbine manufacture in Scotland.

“You should not be letting go of one rope before you’ve got hold of another,” she said. “My main thing is that I cannot allow these workers to be sacrificed on the altar of net zero.”

READ MORE: ‘Urgent alignment across political spectrum’ needed for oil transition

Labour says that early investment of Great British Energy will “include wind and solar projects in communities up and down the country, as well as making Britain a world-leader in cutting edge technologies such as floating offshore wind.”

Sir Keir’s visit comes as regulator Ofgem is due to announce its next quarterly price cap, set to cover the period from 1 July to 30 September 2024.

Analysts at Cornwall Insight have predicted a 7% fall to £1,574 a year for the average dual-fuel energy bill, down from the current level of £1,690.

If correct, this would represent a 25% drop from last summer but would still be about £400 a year higher than the summer of 2021.

Sir Keir said: “After 14 years of Tory chaos, people across Scotland are desperate for change.

“Families are picking up the tab of 14 years of Tory energy failure and are expected to remain a staggering £400 a year worse off under the new price cap.

“We can’t just send a message in this election, we must send a government – but we can only do that if we rebuild trust and chart a new course for the country.

“The Labour Party is humbly asking for the opportunity to change the country. To serve the entire country. To be clear, there is no national renewal without a strong Scotland. There is no Labour without Scotland. There is no changed Britain without Scotland.

“A Labour government will take Scotland in a different direction and give people hope for the future.

“Labour will stop families paying over the odds for energy. Great British Energy, our new publicly owned energy company, will invest in homegrown clean energy to boost energy independence and cut bills for good.

“When I say let’s get Britain’s future back, we say it with one voice. Scotland is at the beating heart of that mission.

“It’s time to stop the chaos, turn the page and start to rebuild with Labour.”

Responding to the comments from Sir Keir, the SNP’s Alison Thewliss said the Labour leader had “some serious questions to answer on Scotland’s energy.”

She added: “Only in the last few weeks, expert reports have exposed Labour’s energy plans will cost 100,000 Scottish jobs and are a direct threat to the green energy transition.

“The truth is that Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour party have the exact same energy policy as every Westminster party for the past five decades – the only thing they are really interested in is how many billions make their way back down the road to the UK Treasury.”

READ MORE: Union warns £6.6bn needed now to save 30,000 Scots oil and gas jobs

Meanwhile, in other general election news Lorna Slater, the co-leader of the Scottish Greens said her party will stand dozens of candidates.

And in what could be a boost to Labour, she also ruled out any deals with the SNP.

“The SNP’s fortunes are a matter for the SNP,” she said. The independence movement – and it should be and is – larger than any one political party, so support for independence has been around about half the country for a while now and we aren’t going to get independence just from people elected to Westminster, it actually needs to be a national movement, we need to get support for independence up higher.”

“There has been no discussions of deals, there are no deals of that kind, we’ve already chosen our candidates,” she added.

South of the border, Nigel Farage said he would not stand for Parliament.

The Reform UK honorary president said he would be focusing instead on getting Donald Trump re-elected.

“Important though the general election is, the contest in the United States of America on November 5 has huge global significance,” hes said. “A strong America as a close ally is vital for our peace and security. I intend to help with the grassroots campaign in the USA in any way that I can.”

The party’s leader, Richard Tice, insisted they would still be standing candidates in every seat in Scotland.

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