Keir Starmer Promises Publicly-Owned Green Energy Company If Labour Wins Next Election

The party leader said the move would cut bills, boost economic growth and ensure "energy independence from tyrants like Putin".
Keir Starmer delivers his keynote speech on the third day of the Labour Party conference in Liverpool.
Keir Starmer delivers his keynote speech on the third day of the Labour Party conference in Liverpool.
Ian Forsyth via Getty Images

A Labour government would create a publicly-owned energy company to cut bills, create jobs and boost economic growth, Keir Starmer has declared.

In a major announcement, the Labour leader said Great British Energy would also ensure the UK no longer had to rely on “tyrants like Putin” for its oil and gas.

Starmer made his pledge in his keynote speech to Labour’s annual conference as he claimed the party was now ready for power.

Referring to previous election victories, he said: “As in 1945, 1964, 1997 - this is a Labour moment.”

The party has already unveiled plans to ensure 100 per of the energy produced in the UK comes from green sources like wind, solar and tidal power by 2030.

But Starmer said: “Labour won’t make the mistake the Tories made with North Sea oil and gas back in the 1980s, where they frittered away the wealth from our national resources.

“Just look at what’s happening at the moment. The largest onshore wind farm in Wales. Who owns it? Sweden. Energy bills in Swansea are paying for schools and hospitals in Stockholm. The Chinese Communist Party has a stake in our nuclear industry. And five million people in Britain pay their bills to an energy company owned by France.

“Labour will set up Great British Energy within the first year of a Labour government. A new company that takes advantage of the opportunities in clean British power, and because it’s right for jobs, because it’s right for growth, because it’s right for energy independence from tyrants like Putin.”

To a huge ovation from party delegates, he went on: “Yes conference, Great British Energy will be publicly owned.”

The Labour leader added: “Technology has turned everything on its head.

“Green and growth don’t just go together – they’re inseparable. The future wealth of this country is in our air, in our seas, in our skies. Britain should harness that wealth and share it with all.

“British power to the British people.”

Elsewhere in his speech, Starmer launched a bitter attack on Kwasi Kwarteng’s decision to cut taxes for the country’s highest earners funded by a huge rise in government borrowing.

The move has led to chaos on the money markets, with the value of the pound plummeting and the Bank of England preparing to hike interest rates to tackle inflation.

“What we’ve seen in the past few days has no precedent,” Starmer said. “The government has lost control of the British economy – and for what? They’ve crashed the pound – and for what?

“Higher interest rates. Higher inflation. Higher borrowing. And for what?

“Not for you. Not for working people. For tax cuts for the richest one per cent in our society. Don’t forget. Don’t forgive.

“The only way forward is to stop this – with a Labour government.”

Taking aim at the Tories’s “trickle down economics”, Starmer said: If they want to fight us on redistribution, if they want to fight us on workers’ rights, if they want to tell us working people don’t come first, we will take them on – and we will win.

“And we will win not just because we have fairness on our side but because we have economic reason on our side too. Trickle-down economics doesn’t work. Britain won’t be better off just because we make the rich, richer.”

Starmer also claimed that Labour is now “the party of home ownership” as he unveiled plans to boost the number of people getting on the property ladder.

He said: “Under the Tories, the dream of owning your own home is slipping away for too many.

“And that’s a political choice. Because if you keep inflating demand without increasing supply house prices will only rise. And homes become less affordable for working people.

“So we will set a new target – 70 per cent home ownership and we will meet it with a new set of political choices. A Labour set of political choices.

“No more buy-to-let landlords or second homeowners getting in first. We will back working people’s aspiration. Help real first-time buyers onto the ladder with a new mortgage guarantee scheme. Reform planning so speculators can’t stop communities getting shovels in the ground.

“My message is this if you’re grafting every hour to buy your own home Labour is on your side.”


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