Energy HQ will bring huge number of Scottish jobs

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Energy HQ will bring huge number of Scottish jobs

Labour will bring a “huge number” of skilled jobs to Scotland by basing the HQ of its new energy company there, Sir Keir Starmer says.

The party plans to create a publicly-owned company called Great British Energy.

On an election campaign visit, the Labour leader said the firm would drive the transition to clean energy and make sure “those jobs are in Scotland rather than other countries”.

The SNP has criticised the the project, saying it would “destroy Scottish jobs and investment”.

Speaking to BBC Radio’s Good Morning Scotland programme, Sir Keir said Great British Energy would be set up very quickly “if we are privileged enough to come into power”.

He said: “As we transition into clean power there is the potential for a huge number of skilled, long-term, well-payed jobs.

“GB energy will be the driver of that to make sure that those jobs are in Scotland.

“In Europe, in America, initiatives are already under way to get ahead on renewables. I want Scotland, the UK to be in the race.

“We will base it in Scotland as the energy sector is so important in terms of renewables.”

Sir Keir is in Scotland to launch a new logo and website for Great British Energy.

The firm would be headquartered in Scotland, where much of the UK’s oil and gas and offshore wind industries are based.

Labour would fund the company through a windfall tax on oil and gas firms, which they said would raise £8.3bn over the next five years.

Great British Energy would invest in wind and solar projects, and well as new technologies including floating offshore wind, hydrogen and carbon capture and storage.

Sir Keir said he “rejects the analysis” that the project would bring North Sea job loses and said: “I’m convinced transition will bring more jobs to Scotland”

He added: “We’re not going to turn the pipes off instantaneously, we’re not going to revoke any licences in place.

“The question is what we do about the transition, with oil and gas for decades to come as part of the mix.”

But the SNP said the scheme would use “Scotland’s energy wealth” to fund nuclear projects in England and could cost 100,000 Scottish jobs.

SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn called it a “con trick” that would “deter billions of pounds of investment”.

Conservative Energy Secretary Claire Coutinho said Labour’s plans were unfunded.

She attacked the party’s moves to stop new oil and gas licences in the North Sea, claiming jobs would be at risk.

The Green Party said Labour’s plans do not go far enough.

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