Press on with energy strategy, union leader urges ministers

Gary Smith, general secretary of the GMB, warned the plan could be “just another Boris promise”.

A construction worker stands inside a welded steel dome that will be lifted and placed on top of the nuclear island, which houses the reactor, at Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant near Bridgwater in Somerset (Ben Birchall/PA)
A construction worker stands inside a welded steel dome that will be lifted and placed on top of the nuclear island, which houses the reactor, at Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant near Bridgwater in Somerset (Ben Birchall/PA)

A union leader is urging the government to press on with its energy strategy, warning that “squabbles” within the Conservative party could kick the plans into the long grass.

Gary Smith, general secretary of the GMB, said on a visit to the new Hinkley Point nuclear site that the strategy looked like just another “Boris promise.”

He was meeting workers on the project, which is creating thousands of jobs.

It’s already looking like this plan could be just another Boris promise – here today, gone tomorrow

Gary Smith

He said: “Nuclear is critical to our energy future and GMB has long told ministers there can be no net zero without new nuclear.

“But it’s 24 hours since the Prime Minister was here at Hinkley Point C and the questions over this so-called energy plan won’t go away.

GMB general secretary Gary Smith (GMB/PA)

“Dangling the carrot of a new fleet of reactors may grab headlines today, but without a hard and fast timetable for construction, internal Tory party squabbles could still kick things into the long grass.

“Offshore wind could provide a huge number of clean energy jobs here at home, but current practice is for UK projects to ship them overseas, leaving the nation open to ransom by despotic regimes.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets staff in the control centre training area during a visit to Hinkley Point C nuclear power station construction site in Somerset on Thursday (Finnbarr Webster/PA)

“It’s already looking like this plan could be just another Boris promise – here today, gone tomorrow.

“The government has to get on with it, secure the UK’s energy future, and make sure the next generation doesn’t face the same crushing cost of living crisis.”

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