Starmer lays out energy plan and proposes ’12 years of failure’ under Tories

Sir Keir Starmer will use the Labor conference to appeal to voters “fed up” with rising energy costs and furious at “12 years of failure” among the Conservatives.

The Labor leader announced plans to end dependence on fossil fuels, with all of the country’s electricity coming from renewable and nuclear sources by 2030.

Labor claims the plan would save UK households a total of £93bn over the remainder of the decade – or an average saving of £475 per household per year.

Sir Keir said the plan would also allow Britain “to be exposed to dictators” after Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine led to the current spike in global gas prices.

The green energy revolution is being presented as an alternative growth path after Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng unveiled a massive package of tax cuts as part of Friday’s mini-budget in hopes of reviving a sluggish economy.

Sir Keir used speeches to campaigners on the eve of the Labor conference opening in Liverpool to denounce the Downing Street “shower” which he accused of “taking the piss” by offering tax cuts to the rich and less support to poorer households granted.

The Labor leader pledged to double the amount of onshore wind power, triple solar power and more than quadruple offshore wind power by 2030, according to details revealed in The Observer ahead of the party’s annual conference.

Creating a zero-carbon, self-sufficient power grid would lead to permanently lower energy bills and independence for nations like Russia, according to Labor.

The move could also create half a million jobs and make Britain the first country to have a zero-emission energy system.

Sir Keir said: “The British people are fed up with energy bills soaring and our energy system being subjected to dictators.

“They want long-term solutions to bring the bills down for good.”

Speaking to activists, Sir Keir said the Chancellor’s admission of Tory economic failure would be “hung around their necks” in the next election campaign.

He said: “There is a change in the air. There’s an atmosphere, there’s a sense that Labor is ready to deliver.

“And don’t we need a change after 12 years of this shower, 12 years of failure under this administration, 10 years of stagnant wages, public services on their knees?”

It is already clear that the Chancellor’s mini-budget on Friday will set the dividing lines for the next general election, with Sir Keir telling Labor supporters: “I disagreed with almost nothing he said in that financial report yesterday, apart from that from his opening sentence when he said there was a “vicious cycle of stagnation”.

“He’s right about that, and that’s their cycle of stagnation. That is the verdict of 12 years of Tory government, a cycle of stagnation, and we must hang that on their necks.”

The former prosecutor said it’s good when “someone caught in the act actually pleads guilty”.

He said the government’s “driving ideology” was now “to make the rich richer and do nothing for working people”.

“If you made a million pounds yesterday you got a £55,000 tax cut, enough to pay a nurse,” he said.

“It doesn’t trickle down, it takes the piss.”

The Labor leader’s relationship with union leaders has been strained by his refusal to give full support to the wave of strikes triggered by the cost-of-living crisis.

But he insisted he would lead the “most pro-union Labor government you’ve ever seen” and pledged to present a green paper on workers’ rights within 100 days of an election victory.

The conference is crucial for Sir Keir to present himself as an alternative Prime Minister to Mrs Truss, with the next election expected in 2024.

Sharon Graham, general secretary of the Unite union, told the BBC the Labor leader should be “bolder” in his economic policies and not “stand still” in order to come to power.

The conference officially begins on Sunday with Queen’s tributes and a performance of the national anthem.

Sir Keir’s energy plan was welcomed by environmental group Greenpeace UK, whose policy leader Rebecca Newsom said: “The only way out of this mess is a moonshot mission to introduce a renewable energy-based energy system that cuts bills, cuts emissions and creates can create jobs and break our dependence on gas markets and fossil fuel autocrats.

“Labour seems to have understood that, the Conservatives have not.”

Luke Murphy, deputy director for energy and climate at centre-left think tank IPPR, said: “This is a welcome and bold commitment to expand clean energy and renewable energy and reduce our reliance on expensive and climate-damaging fossil fuels.”

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