'Thousands of Scottish jobs' created by Labour's proposed energy company

Labour unveiled a logo for its proposed Great British Energy company on Thursday.

‘Thousands of Scottish jobs’ to be created by proposed new energy company, Labour says Getty Images

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has said his party will bring “tens of thousands of new jobs” to Scotland by basing the headquarters of a new energy company there.

The party unveiled a logo for its proposed Great British Energy company on Thursday.

Speaking in Greenock, Inverclyde on an election campaign visit, Sir Keir said: “We’re not turning off the taps, we’re not revoking the licences, and then oil and gas is part of the mix for decades to come.

“On top of that, there will be new jobs, tens of thousands of new jobs, created by the transition to renewable energy, and by locating GB Energy in Scotland, it makes Scotland the centre of that.

“I’m very conscious that those jobs need to be in Scotland, in the sectors, using the skills that we already have.

“And that’s why this transition, unlike the transition from coal, will be one where we preserve and build and ensure the jobs are there, not just elsewhere in the United Kingdom but here in Scotland using the skills that we already have.”

Sir Keir added: “By sticking our head in the sand and pretending it’s not happening, we are actually doing the worst or worst things for people who work in the energy sector, and in 20 years, they would look back on a government that took no action and say, ‘how on Earth did you allow that to happen and leave us in that situation?’”

He also said: “Renewables are cheap.

“There’s a massive prize here, lower bills, security, the next generation of jobs, so clean power is the best opportunity we’ve had in a generation for the next generation of jobs.”

The SNP has criticised the project, saying it could risk 100,000 jobs in the north east of Scotland.

SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn said: “Keir Starmer is utterly clueless about the Scottish energy industry and his only Scottish policy has completely unravelled.

“His damaging plans for so-called ‘GB energy’ are a sham. Starmer has been forced to admit it isn’t an energy company, it won’t produce or sell energy – and it will rely on the same private investment that his policies are putting at risk.

“Industry experts have warned the proposals could destroy 100,000 Scottish jobs and deter billions of pounds in investment – and it would see Scotland’s energy wealth taken away and spent on nuclear projects in England.

“It’s no wonder Starmer has given up campaigning in the north east of Scotland when he knows his plans are so damaging and unpopular.

“In contrast, the SNP wants every penny of Scotland’s energy wealth spent in Scotland – to reduce household bills, create jobs and secure our green energy future. It shows why it’s vital to vote SNP on July 4 to protect Scottish jobs and put Scotland’s interests first.”

Scottish Conservative candidate for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine Andrew Bowie said: “Labour’s vow to turn off the taps in the North Sea – which the SNP support – would destroy tens of thousands of jobs and devastate communities across the north east.

“It’s economically and environmentally illiterate of Labour and the SNP to turn their back on oil and gas because it would leave us reliant on importing more expensive fossil fuels with a bigger carbon footprint.

“We all want to see a managed transition to net zero, but oil and gas will have a crucial role to play in our energy mix for decades to come because currently there are not sufficient renewable sources to meet our needs.

“Only the Scottish Conservatives recognise this and are prepared to stand up for the oil and gas industry, while Labour and the SNP abandon north east workers.”

Lorna Slater, co-leader of the Scottish Greens, said: “After the u-turn from Keir Starmer it’s hard to tell who has more disregard for – the people of Scotland or his colleagues in Scottish Labour.”
“Earlier this week Anas Sarwar was promising us that GB Energy would be a publicly owned company that would generate and sell renewable energy – like the publicly owned energy companies that are common throughout Europe – and would create 70,000 jobs in Scotland. But Keir Starmer has now torpedoed these plans, once again confirming Scottish Labour’s irrelevance to Labour decision-making in London.
“When Labour abandoned their pledge to invest £28bninto tackling the climate emergency and building the green industries of the future, they at least retained a commitment to a publicly owned energy company. But now even this appears to have been watered down. Scottish Labour need to stop misleading Scotland and clarify immediately whether they will stand by their pledge to establish a publicly owned energy company in Scotland.”

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