Sarwar urged to clarify Scottish Labour’s position on new oil and gas investment

By Lucy Ashton 

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar must clarify his party’s position on new investment in the North Sea oil and gas sector, the Scottish Conservatives have demanded.

Reports in The Sunday Times at the weekend said UK Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer is planning a policy announcement in Scotland next month which would commit his party to ‘blocking’ any new licences for oil and gas in the North Sea.

Shadow net zero, energy and transport secretary Liam Kerr has today written to Anas Sarwar asking him if he and his party agree with the shift in position at a UK level.

Liam Kerr, pictured below,  says that oil and gas workers, and everyone living in the North East of Scotland will be keen to know if Scottish Labour are also prepared to throw the sector ‘under a bus’.

Offshore Energies UK have also voiced their opposition to Keir Starmer’s plans.

Chief Executive David Whitehouse told Good Morning Scotland if the reports are true “this is no way to treat people and communities across Scotland”, as he cited the 90,000 Scottish jobs reliant on the sector.

Liam Kerr says it is clear that only the Scottish Conservatives are standing up for oil and gas workers in the north-east with Labour joining the SNP-Green coalition in turning their back on them. 

Scottish Conservative shadow net zero, energy and security secretary Liam Kerr MSP, said: “Labour’s approach to the North Sea has been nothing short of a gut punch to the industry and tens of thousands of Scots who work in it.

“I’m offering Anas Sarwar the chance to set the record straight. Does Scottish Labour policy represent a just transition, or do they now just want to bin our oil and gas sector?

“As if the ideological stance from the SNP and Greens wasn’t bad enough, along come Labour to further demonise the people who help keep the lights on.

“Keir Starmer’s plan would drop any notion of energy security and make us dependent on oil and gas from overseas. That would cause higher emissions and ramp up energy costs to consumers.

“The onus is on Anas Sarwar to urgently clarify whether he backs his UK leader’s plans or will distance himself from them.”

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