SIR Keir Starmer today faced a major union backlash over his plan to ban further oil and gas licenses – but was cheered by Just Stop Oil.
During an appearance at the GMB union conference in Brighton, the Labor leader was warned communities could be ‘decimated’.
A delegate to the conference asked Sir Keir: ‘When the present North Sea deposits are exhausted and Scotland’s oil and gas jobs evaporate, what will you say to your members working in these sectors and in communities that will be decimated?”
In response, the Labor leader insisted that “oil and gas will be part of the mix for decades to come, into the 2050s”.
But doubling down, he added that the UK must “grab the next generation of nuclear jobs, in new nuclear, in renewables across the country”.
GMB chief Gary Smith said Britain needed ‘plans not bans’ to save jobs, adding the country needed a mix of energy sources including nuclear , renewable energies and hydrogen.
Mr Smith said: “We need to repair and secure our energy supply if we are to meet threats from authoritarian regimes around the world and find a practical way to reach net zero.
“But our future requires a mix of energy sources – new nuclear, renewables, hydrogen, oil and gas. It would be a huge mistake to put all of the nation’s eggs in one energy basket.”
A Cabinet source called Labour’s energy plans “crazy delusions”.
Meanwhile, Just Stop Oil has issued a letter praising and thanking ‘future Prime Minister’ Sir Keir for giving in to their demands to drop new oil if he gets to No 10.
The environmentalists said: “Committing to stop the suicidal mania of drilling for more oil and gas is the right thing to do.
“Without a doubt, ending new oil and gas is the most important national imperative on the Labor agenda.”
However, after praising Sir Keir, campaigners added an ultimatum.
They called on the Labor leader to pledge to step down if the controversial policy is not passed within six months of winning the next election.
“If you refuse to make this commitment or ignore this challenge, the country will draw its own conclusions and Just Stop Oil will be seen as the true opposition to the criminal Tory government,” the campaign group said.