Keir Starmer would BAN new investment in North Sea oil and gas and focus on renewable energy instead
- Sir Keir Starmer says that the UK must instead focus on renewable energy
- The Labour Party leader is in Davos with shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves
- The party seeks to portray the pair as ambassadors for the UK on the world stage
Labour plans to ban new investment in North Sea oil and gas fields in a major change from current Government policy.
Party leader Sir Keir Starmer said the UK must instead focus on renewable energy such as wind farms.
But his pledge during the World Economic Forum in Davos yesterday will spell uncertainty for thousands employed in the once-thriving sector – as well as investors currently looking at new projects.
Sir Keir said during a panel discussion at the event: ‘There does need to be a transition. Obviously it [oil and gas] will play its part during that transition but not new investment, not new fields up in the North Sea… we need to ensure that renewable energy is where we go next.’
Party leader Sir Keir Starmer said the UK must instead focus on renewable energy such as wind farms
He is in Davos with shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves as the party seeks to portray the pair as ambassadors for the UK on the world stage – in the absence of Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt at the event. Sir Keir said Labour would seek a ‘closer economic relationship with the EU’, although Ms Reeves later insisted this would not mean rejoining the single market or customs union.
The new stance on the North Sea was described by Offshore Energies UK (OEUK), which represents the industry, as ‘deeply upsetting to the many workers and communities’ which had been ‘central to the UK’s energy security for five decades’. Jenny Stanning, external relations director at OEUK, said: ‘It will also further damage investor confidence.’
The industry directly employed 28,000 people in 2021 and supported 200,000 jobs, according to OEUK figures. The announcement comes after the Tory government recently held a new round for oil and gas exploration licences.
Labour was accused last night of shredding Sir Keir’s pledge to end its big spending reputation as Treasury analysis suggests frontbenchers have announced spending commitments of £45.2billion since his speech on January 6. Treasury chief secretary John Glen said the party ‘have already broken their New Year’s resolutions’. But Labour insisted many statements were not firm commitments and its manifesto would be ‘fully costed’.
Starmer’s suited and (snow) booted
By Bill Bowkett
Politics? It’s a slippery world, and you need a firm grip. So Sir Keir Starmer and shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves made sure they had decent boots along with their smart attire as they negotiated the snowy streets of Davos yesterday.
The Labour leader is staying in a luxurious hotel in the Swiss resort where rooms cost up to £337 a night and guests can enjoy zebra carpaccio from South Africa, horse fillets from Argentina or pikeperch from Russia, it has emerged.
Labour sources insist the party paid for the trip. Sir Keir also revealed that he preferred Davos to his day job. He told the News Agents podcast: ‘Westminster is just a tribal shouting place.’
Politics? It’s a slippery world, and you need a firm grip. So Sir Keir Starmer and shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves made sure they had decent boots along with their smart attire as they negotiated the snowy streets of Davos yesterday
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