Keir Starmer vows to set up Great British Energy company within first year of government
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A publicly owned energy company has been proposed by Labour leader Keir Starmer.
Since Russian President Vladimir Putin sent troops across the border into Ukraine on 24 February, 2022, other countries - including the UK - have enforced a series of sanctions on Russia in a bid to stem its invasion. One sanction includes a plan to stop the importation of oil from Russia by the end of the year.
Coupled with the after effects of the coronavirus pandemic and Brexit, UK residents have fallen into a cost of living crisis, with not just fuel, but food and energy prices having soared.
At the Labour conference in Liverpool today (27 September), Labour leader Keir Starmer reflected on how the country needs new leadership and announced that - if elected - within its first year of government, the Labour party would 'fight the Tories on economic growth' by launching a company called Great British Energy.
Great British Energy will be '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 [Russian President Vladimir] Putin'.
Starmer pitched the company as similar to the likes of Vattenfall in Sweden or EDF in France.
Great British Energy would work alongside the private sector as a 'publicly-owned' company, but 'require a different way of working – the biggest partnership between government, business and communities this country has ever seen'.
By 'harnessing the power of Britain's sun, wind and waves', Starmer said that GBE will result in cheaper energy bills, guarantee a more secure future and 'turn the UK into a growth superpower'.
"Some nation is going to lead the world in offshore wind. Why not this one? Some nation will win the race for electric vehicles. Why not us? Some nation will be the first to harness new hydrogen power. Why not Britain?" he questioned.
With @Keir_Starmer as Prime Minister, Labour will establish GB Energy.— The Labour Party (@UKLabour) September 27, 2022
✅ A publicly-owned, renewable generation company.
✅ Harnessing the power of Britain’s sun, wind and waves to cut energy bills.
✅ Britain will be an energy independent superpower. pic.twitter.com/RbDPTqUWsM
Starmer reflected on the impact the war in Ukraine has had on the cost of living crisis, but ultimately resolved: "I will never accept that the war is an excuse for how unprepared Britain was to tackle the fallout.
"The war didn’t ban onshore wind, the war didn’t scrap home insulation, the war didn’t stall British nuclear energy. The Tories did that."
He also addressed Liz Truss' and Kwasi Kwarteng's decision to introduce controversial tax cuts last week, which will see the UK's highest earners' income tax eradicated.
Starmer stated: "[The Tories have] lost control of the British economy… not for you, not for working people, for tax cuts for the richest 1 percent in our society. Don’t forget. Don’t forgive. The only way to stop this is with a Labour government."
Labour’s Green Prosperity Plan is about investing in Britain to cut energy bills, make the UK energy secure, grow our economy, and protect future generations by tackling the climate crisis.— The Labour Party (@UKLabour) September 27, 2022
Here’s how: pic.twitter.com/KfGnEsVwNk
As well as giving the country its own publicly-owned energy company, Starmer pledged to help the NHS and first time buyers if elected as the next prime minister of the UK.
From apprenticeships and additional skills courses for the NHS to make sure they can take on more health visitors, district nurses and medical students and are less stretched, to helping first-time buyers so that there's a '70 percent homeownership,' Starmer reassured the 'endless cycle of crisis' will end if Labour is elected and subsequently a 'fresh start' will begin with 'a new set of priorities and a new way of governing'.
He explained that politics is 'about choices' such as whether who pays is the 'working people' or 'oil and gas companies making huge profits from higher prices'.
"So our choice, the only choice, the Labour choice is to put those profits to work. This party is always on the side of working people in times of crisis."
Starmer concluded his speech by stating: "You will see a clear contrast between my Labour Party and the Thatcherite cosplay on display tonight.
"The difference between a Labour Party ready to take Britain forward. And a Tory party that wants to take us back into the past.
"Between Labour growth. And Tory stagnation. That will be the choice at the next election and we are ready.
"Ready to renew the contract with working people. Ready to reboot our economy and end the cost-of living crisis. Ready to unlock the contribution of every business, person and community. And deliver the strong, secure and fair growth our country needs."
If you've been affected by any of the issues in this story, you can find more information about where to get help from Turn2Us via their website.