‘Radical? It’s what the Tories said they would do?’ Ed Miliband stumped on energy pledge

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    Former Labour leader Ed Miliband has been left stuttering after he was called out on what he claimed were “radical” Labour policies. Speaking to Sophy Ridge on Sky News, Mr Miliband said Labour’s new pledge to have net zero electricity by 2030 was “the kind of radical action we need”, adding that, in contrast to the mini-budget announcement from the Conservative Party on Friday, this plan would benefit people “right across our country”. But Ms Ridge quickly pointed out that the Tories have also committed to this net zero future, instead aiming to have achieved this goal by 2035. Ms Ridge questioned how radical Mr Miliband’s act actually was when “it is just five years earlier” than the Conservatives. 

    Speaking about the pledge to have net zero electricity by 2030, Mr Miliband said: “This is the kind of radical action we need and, crucially, this is a contrast with last Friday. 

    “It is about building an economy that works for the many, right across our country, not about building an economy that is for a few at the top of our society.” 

    Ms Ridge said: “You say it is radical but at the same time, the Government has also committed to net zero electricity by 2035. It is just five years earlier, right?” 

    Mr Miliband then stuttered over his answer, before he said: “Well, just five years, I mean five years is a long time. We are in a decisive moment. 

    Ms Ridge said: “Ok, well how much will it cost to do it five years earlier then?” 

    Mr Miliband said: “Well, here is the thing. The vast majority of this will come not from the taxpayer but will come from private investment.” 

    “You see, private investors are lining up to go for wind energy and solar energy but they cannot because the Government blocks them on onshore wind, blocks them on solar, and doesn’t make the investments we need.” 

    Demanding an answer to her original question, Ms Ridge said: “So, what will the cost be? Just explain it to me.” 

    Mr Miliband said: “We have made a pledge of £28billion each and every year, a green plan property pledge, and we think it will cost around £2billion a year to make this happen. 

    “So, it is a small proportion of that pledge and it is the right thing to do for the country.”

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    Green energy will be a major focus for the Labour Party during their conference, beginning on Sunday, with Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer expected to make his keynote speech on Tuesday. 

    He has said he wants to turn the UK into a clean energy “superpower” as the energy crisis continues to cause costs to spiral out of control. 

    Ahead of the conference, he claimed Labour’s energy plans would “save the British people £93billion” and undermine Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ability to blackmail the UK through control of vital energy resources to Europe. 

    Sir Keir said: “Our plan for clean power by 2030 will save the British people £93bn off their energy bills and break the UK’s vulnerability to Putin and his cronies. It will also support our drive for higher growth and rising living standards.”

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