Starmer: Labour will deliver where SNP has failed on renewable jobs for Scotland

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Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer is promising a renewable energy jobs boost under plans which put Scotland at the heart of efforts to transform the UK into a “clean energy superpower”.

Sir Keir said Labour’s green prosperity plan would more than double the number of low-carbon jobs in Scotland – with the party promising more than 50,000 new direct and indirect jobs will be created in the renewable energy sector in Scotland alone over a decade.

While former first minister Alex Salmond once famously pledged that Scotland would be the “Saudi Arabia of renewable marine energy”, Sir Keir said the SNP in power had “chased the headlines but not done the work”.

He insisted: “Labour will deliver lower bills, good jobs, and energy security for Scotland, as Britain leads the world in the fight against climate change.”

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar, left, joined Sir Keir Starmer on the visit to the Beatrice wind farm (Jane Barlow/PA)

Currently Scotland’s largest operational offshore wind farm, the development has 84 turbines and is capable of generating enough electricity to power about 450,000 homes.

Sir Keir visited the site along with shadow climate change secretary Ed Miliband and Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar.

Speaking during his third visit north of the border in three weeks, Sir Keir declared: “The route to making Britain a clean energy superpower, slashing energy bills and creating tens of thousands of quality jobs runs through Scotland.”

Labour’s proposed GB Energy would invest in all four nations of the UK, with the party insisting it would see the people of Scotland benefit from the country’s natural resources.

The party said its plans could help households in Scotland save £84 billion on their power bills over the rest of this decade – the equivalent of cutting £475 a year from bills for every family up to 2030.

Sir Keir said: “There should be no doubt – our energy plans will be made in Scotland, cutting energy bills for Scottish families, and delivering the jobs and investment in Scottish communities that for far too long have been let down by the SNP and Conservatives.

“When it comes to capitalising on Scotland’s energy resources, for 15 years the SNP Government has chased the headlines but not done the work.

“Labour will deliver lower bills, good jobs, and energy security for Scotland, as Britain leads the world in the fight against climate change.”

SNP MSP Gillian Martin hit back at the Labour leader, saying: “It is laughable that Keir Starmer is trying to argue that the SNP has failed on renewables whilst visiting a wind farm opened under the SNP and reported as the ‘fourth-largest offshore wind farm in the world’ – he is utterly clueless about what is happening in Scotland.

“It doesn’t matter how many times Keir Starmer smiles for Scottish cameras – it fools no-one.

“It was a Labour Westminster government that introduced the transmission charging causing larger bills in Scotland, and it has been decades of Westminster governments failing to properly harness Scotland’s immense energy resources that has left people across Scotland paying the price.

“Labour is pro-Brexit, while Scotland is not. That means a UK Labour government will continue to ignore the needs, interests and wishes of people across Scotland and actively pursue policy that harms our interests.

“It could not be clearer that Scotland needs the full powers of independence to properly deliver clean, green and affordable renewable energy for the benefit of people living and working here.”

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