Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has confirmed he will head to Aberdeen to engage with the oil and gas sector as he draws up the party's energy policy.

The Leader of the Opposition has accepted an invitation from Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce to visit the North-east to hear directly from the people and companies impacted by the energy transition.

Addressing business leaders at the British Chambers of Commerce Global Annual Conference in London, he said the mistakes made in coal-mining communities in the 1980s "must never be repeated" as the energy transition gathers pace.

Sir Keir has led the charge for an even-tougher windfall tax on oil and gas companies, and has indicated that a Labour government would be against new hydrocarbon developments in the North Sea.

He accepted that this has made workers in the North-east "anxious", but has vowed to travel north to hear their concerns first hand.

"As we transition, it needs to be a fair and just transition that takes communities with us," he said.

'People are anxious'

"Many people in well-paid and secure jobs in oil and gas are anxious about what happens when we transition.

"I think this can be handled well. If you look at offshore and floating wind turbines, we have more skills in these areas than any other country. And many of these are located in the regions where we need to see the transition happen.

"The worst thing we could do is not engage with these communities and have a plan, or to do what happened at the end of coal mining and simply saying to people, we're moving on.

"The effects of the post-mining decline are still felt across many communities today, and we must never ever make that mistake again."

In a speech to the conference, Sir Keir stepped up his efforts to woo businesses ahead of the general election, saying he wanted “robust private-sector growth” and a partnership with industry.

The Labour leader also said he wanted to see the price of houses come down, relative to incomes, as he accused the Tories of killing off the dream of home ownership.

More like this…

View all