Keir Starmer Condemned Over Labour's U-Turn On £28 Billion Green Energy Plan

The decision comes after weeks of confusion over the party's policy.
Keir Starmer insisted Labour was still committed to the £28bn investment earlier this week.
Keir Starmer insisted Labour was still committed to the £28bn investment earlier this week.
Dan Kitwood via Getty Images

Keir Starmer has been condemned after he finally decided to ditch Labour’s pledge to spend £28 billion a year on green projects.

Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves announced the policy with great fanfare at the party’s annual conference in 2021.

She watered it down last year, and Starmer will today confirm that it is being scrapped altogether.

It follows weeks of confusion over the policy, with splits emerging between Reeves and Starmer.

Just yesterday, senior party officials were insisting that the policy remained in place.

It is understood that Starmer will say that because of the damage the Tories have done to the economy, Labour can no longer commit to spending that amount of money while sticking to its fiscal rules.

His announcement comes on the same day that shadow ministers have been told to submit their ideas for Labour’s general election manifesto.

But the move has prompted a furious backlash against the the Labour leader, who has previously been criticised for making repeated U-turns.

SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn said: “Keir Starmer’s damaging decision to cut energy investment will destroy Scottish jobs, harm economic growth and hit families in the pocket by keeping energy bills high.

“It’s a weak and shortsighted U-turn, which shows Westminster is incapable of delivering the investment Scotland needs to compete in the global green energy gold rush and secure strong economic growth.

Carla Denyer, co-leader of the Green Party, said: “This is a massive backward step – for the climate, for the economy and for good quality jobs.

“Both the security of our planet for future generations and the UK’s future prosperity is dependent on greening our economy and that requires large scale investment.

“Labour have chosen to wear their fiscal rules as a millstone around their neck. A different approach through tax reforms, in particular by introducing a wealth tax on the super-rich, could help pay for the green transition. There is more than enough money in the economy to pay for this.”

Former Labour adviser John McTernan, a Starmer supporter, also hit out at the “stupid” decision.

He said: “Great parties have great causes. If you don’t have a great cause, you want to change from this government, sure, but change to what? What’s the change Labour now offers? It’s very disappointing.”

The Conservatives have launched repeated attacks on the £28bn-a-year policy, claiming it would lead to higher taxes and interest rates.

Reacting to Starmer’s U-turn, Laura Trott, the shadow secretary to the Treasury, said: “This is a serious moment which confirms Labour have no plan for the UK, creating uncertainty for business and our economy.

“On the day that Labour are finalising their manifesto, Keir Starmer is torpedoing what he has claimed to be his central economic policy purely for short-term campaigning reasons.”


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