“I see a role for public ownership” in energy system, Ed Miliband says

Elliot Chappell

Labour’s Ed Miliband has suggested that a “fundamental look” is needed at the energy sector and declared that he sees a “role for public ownership in relation to the energy system” in the UK.

On BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning, the Shadow Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Secretary warned listeners that the UK energy industry has left the UK “exposed and vulnerable as a country”.

“The best route to energy security, energy sovereignty for our country is to move further and faster on the zero-carbon agenda,” Miliband said.

Put to him that many people feel the current energy crisis shows that the country should return to a nationalised energy system, he replied: “It’s a deeply inadequate market and of course we need to look at all of these issues in relation to the market, and that’s what we’re going to do.”

Asked if the energy system should be renationalised, he said: “There are many elements to the energy system – there is generation, there is distribution, there is transmission and supply, and I see a role for public ownership in relation to the energy system.

“But I think we’ve got to get this right. And I think what’s happened is we’ve started off with a very liberalised system. We have as you say introduced, if you like, market constraints including the price cap – we need a fundamental look at this market and there is a role for ownership, yeah.”

The interview this morning followed an appearance by Keir Starmer on The Andrew Marr Show last month at Labour conference, in which the leader told viewers that the party would not nationalise the Big Six energy firms.

Miliband’s comments on the energy crisis come ahead of a speech he will deliver this afternoon to the Green Alliance. He will say that Boris Johnson must “get off his sun lounger” and “be a statesman” ahead of climate summit COP26.

On Times Radio today, Miliband also commented on Starmer crashing an HGV, saying: “It’s no bacon sandwich. I think he’s proving we need properly trained HGV drivers and the government needs to get its act together on HGV drivers.”

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