Ed Miliband says Labour won’t repeat Robin Hood Energy mistakes with Great British Energy

Ed Miliband tours BRC Ltd in Ashfield with Labour candidate Rhea Keehn
By Jamie Waller, Local Democracy Reporter

Ed Miliband has denied Labour’s plan for a publicly-owned energy company would run the same risks as Nottingham’s Robin Hood Energy.

The party says it will create Great British Energy if it wins the July 4 General Election.

Labour says it would invest in renewable energy to lower bills and provide energy security to the UK.

Mr Miliband, the Shadow Secretary of State for Climate Change and Net Zero, said the company would be safer than Robin Hood Energy during a visit to Nottinghamshire on Tuesday (June 11).

The Nottingham City Council-run company collapsed in 2020, costing the taxpayer an estimated £38m.

Speaking on a visit to sustainable steel company BRC Ltd in Ashfield, Mr Miliband said a state-owned company was needed.

“The difference is Robin Hood Energy was a supplier of energy to people. It was a product of a badly-regulated energy market and it was the product of a government that left us exposed,” he said.

“Great British Energy is a common practice in other countries – investing in homegrown energy, and producing energy through solar panels and offshore wind.

“Other foreign governments are investing in energy infrastructure – it’s time we did that in our own country.

“You’ve got EDF in France, Denmark’s Orsted. We say it’s time for Britain to invest and that’s what we will do.”

The Labour shadow minister announced plans to ‘reindustrialise’ the East Midlands, with a National Wealth Fund to finance projects like electric vehicle plants and hydrogen manufacturing.

Ed Miliband at BRC Ltd with Ashfield Labour candidate Rhea Keehn

Mr Miliband also said Nottinghamshire people should feel the benefits if plans for large-scale solar farms become a reality.

“It’s really important that local people have a proper say when it comes to local energy infrastructure. It’s also important that when clean energy is built, local people feel real benefits,” he said.

“We do need that cheap, clean renewable power. We were left totally exposed by the Conservatives during the cost of living crisis, which is still going on for many.

“We can’t have that again. So we do need solar power, including rooftop and ground-mounted, as well as onshore and offshore solar power.

“I think most people are behind that.”

Ashfield is the only constituency which was represented by a Reform UK MP, Lee Anderson, who defected after he was removed from the Conservative group.

Mr Miliband did not directly answer when asked to comment on how Reform might perform the upcoming election, saying he was “incredibly proud” of Labour candidate Rhea Keehn.

Full list of candidates standing in the Ashfield constituency;

  • Lee Anderson (Reform UK)
  • Alexander Coates (Green)
  • Daniel Holmes (Lib Dem)
  • Rhea Keehn (Lab)
  • Debbie Soloman (Con)
  • Jason Zadrozny (Ash Ind)
(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)