Tories in “absolute chaos” over Hinkley Point deal, says Gardiner

29th July, 2016 10:03 am

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Labour has reaffirmed its support for nuclear power despite stinging criticism of the Government’s further delayed Hinkley Point deal.

Barry Gardiner, the Shadow Energy spokesperson, has described the deal as “absolute chaos” and demanded the Tories “seriously review it”, after it was revealed that the Government were throwing the whole deal into doubt just hours before the contract was due to be signed with French energy firm EDF.

Gardiner said that “EDF have mismanaged the Hinkley project; but the Government has mismanaged the public interest in it.” He criticised a project that is “already eight years delayed” and may not be producing power by 2025. “Now the Government has had to admit that bill payers will pay an extra £24billion on top,” he added.

“The Government should insist on a taper so that customers pay less for any further delay.”

His criticisms of the deal, along with those of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, had led to some concern that the party may have adopted a new anti-nuclear power position. However, he was quick to stamp out speculation:

“Labour is clear that there is a role for new nuclear as part of our future low carbon infrastructure; but not at any price. The Government’s failure to get a grip of the public interest here shows a startling level of incompetence.”

Pushed further on the topic on the BBC’s Today programme this morning, he repeated that Labour’s position is “absolutely clear”, saying: “I speak as the Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change in Jeremy’s Shadow Cabinet and we are absolutely clear that we are in favour of nuclear power as part of the mix that we need.”

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