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Failed energy company plan ’embarrassing’ says Lennon

Monica Lennon

Monica Lennon: ‘galling’

Scottish Labour has described as “embarrassing” the Scottish government’s decision to pull the plug on its plans for a publicly-owned energy company.

As revealed by Daily Business yesterday, ministers will instead set up an agency to advise on energy efficiency.

Scottish Labour’s Net Zero, Energy and Transport spokesperson Monica Lennon said: “This embarrassing downgrade lays bare the complete lack of ambition at the heart of this government.

“There is always a gulf between what the SNP promise and what they deliver, but even by their standards this is galling.

“This confirms once and for all how little influence the Greens really have in government – and how quickly they’ve abandoned their principles.”

Daily Business revealed the decision yesterday

The reversal of policy was revealed following an enquiry by Daily Business after Shadow Scottish Secretary Ian Murray had called at the weekend for the government to make progress on setting up the state-backed company.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon had told delegates attending the 2017 party conference that the government would set up the taxpayer-owned company to deliver low cost energy.

But a government spokesman told Daily Business earlier this week that the plan had been “halted”.

Today Ms Lennon accused the government of watering down its plans.

“A real public energy company has the potential to transform energy production in Scotland and drive forward the renewable revolution we urgently need,” she said. “Instead it seems we’re about to be landed with yet another toothless government body.

“This is just not good enough. The Greens and the SNP must drop these watered-down plans and commit to delivering the promised national energy company in full.”

Ms Lennon’s Scottish Conservative counterpart Liam Kerr said: “The SNP announced their plans for a public energy company to much fanfare, but completely failed to get it off the ground.

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“Now we see them quietly try to ditch this pledge to replace a company with a new agency. This is typical of the SNP who are always keen to grab a headline, but regularly fail to follow through with the necessary infrastructure on the ground.

“This new agency is without substance, focus and power and will do nothing to accelerate our moves towards using renewable power.

“In the year Glasgow is hosting COP26, that is a total dereliction of duty from the SNP-Green Government.

“The dropping of this commitment is also an early sign that the Greens are all too happy to sell out their principles for a seat around the table with their nationalist friends, having previously questioned the SNP as to why this company hadn’t yet got up and running.”



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