Ed Miliband’s speech at Labour Conference

Ed Miliband MPLabour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero


Exhibition Centre Liverpool 

I want to thank my shadow ministerial team Sarah Jones, Kerry McCarthy, Jeff Smith and Alan Whitehead and it is a pleasure to follow my friend, our brilliant Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar.

We meet here with confidence that there is a spirit of change in the air. 

We meet here with the conviction that we Labour are on the side of the British people once again. 

We meet here with the belief that we can bring the long dark night of Tory rule to an end.

Listening to the Tories last week it’s clear that they just don’t get the fundamental struggles people are facing.

A deeply painful cost of living crisis; A deeply entrenched economic crisis; And a deeply dangerous climate and nature crisis.

And Rishi Sunak has a desperate and dishonest new line.

That if we dither and delay in tackling the climate crisis we can somehow solve our economic problems.

But friends, he’s wrong. He’s dead wrong. 

Their record says it all.

Your energy bills have rocketed because they didn’t build a clean energy future and that left us exposed to Putin’s war 

They banned onshore wind and energy bills went up.

They cut energy efficiency and bills went up again.

And just last month they trashed offshore wind, the crown jewels of British energy and bills will stay UP for years to come. 

Every time they turn their back on a clean energy future, they leave us exposed to global fossil fuel markets, at the mercy of dictators and petrostates, and they drive up bills and make us more insecure.

And even as you’re paying record bills, they still refuse a proper windfall tax on the oil and gas companies.

So what the Tories call ‘green crap’ is not the cause of the cost of living crisis.

It’s a crap government that will never stand up for working people. 

And when Rishi Sunak tells renters they should be forced to live in damp, cold homes and landlords don’t need to insulate them, that won’t cut bills, it will raise them.

When he tells the world that Britain is backing off the global clean energy race, that won’t encourage businesses to create jobs and invest, it will drive them away.

The Tories’ climate culture war is not just anti-planet. 

It’s anti-security, anti-prosperity, anti-worker, anti-business, anti-jobs, anti-future, anti-young people, and it’s anti-Britain.

We’re not going to let these Tories cancel our country’s future.

Now Sunak tries to spin that he’s still committed to tackling the climate crisis but look at the people celebrating what he’s done.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, Liz Truss, and to top it all, Donald Trump congratulated him.

The British people don’t want a pound shop Republican Party. 

They don’t want an energy policy written by Truss and Trump.

Let’s send these Tories to where they belong. 

Let’s recycle them from government to opposition.  

And chuck them into the 7 dustbins of history.

And let me say this: give me the integrity, decency and values of our leader and my friend Keir Starmer against the weakness of Rishi Sunak any day of the week.

And I am proud that Keir’s 2030 mission is for the greatest investment in homegrown energy in British history.

We’ll double onshore wind. 

We’ll treble solar. 

We’ll quadruple offshore wind.

We’ll invest in nuclear and hydrogen and carbon capture and tidal power.

That’s the new Britain we can build together. 

And with a Labour government, Britain will finally have what the Tories have refused for 13 years— a proper warm homes plan. 

Saving hundreds more off your bill.

Creating tens of thousands of good jobs.

Lifting millions out of fuel poverty.

Insulating 19 million homes. 

And who will make this happen?

Labour local authorities.

That’s the new Britain we can build together. 

Tory energy policy has failed and let’s face it, Tory trickle-down economics has failed too. 

So we’re going to do things differently. 

Now some people will tell you we don’t have public ownership of energy in Britain.

Of course, we do.

It’s just by state-owned firms from other countries.

France’s EDF, Sweden’s Vattenfall, Denmark’s Orsted.

Other countries own nearly half of our offshore wind because they know it creates jobs and wealth for them.

If it’s good enough for them why not us?

Under Labour, the British people will own things again, build things again, profit as a country from these investments again.

GB Energy, owned by the British people, built by the British people for the benefit of the British people.

That’s the new Britain we can build together.

A key industry of the future is floating offshore wind.

But just get this: under the Tories our largest floating wind farm wasn’t built in Britain. 

It was built in Spain, assembled in the Netherlands and then was towed into place off the Scottish coast. 

I say: not under Labour.

GB Energy will invest in floating wind so Britain can lead the world.

And as Rachel said this morning, we will ensure we have the grid we need and rewire our country.

Power for Britain, wealth for Britain, jobs for Britain.

That’s the new Britain we can build together.

And this is about a partnership to build the future: public investment unleashing private investment.

Our national wealth fund will invest, alongside the private sector, in our ports, hydrogen and saving our steel industry and communities.

And unlike with the Tories, this won’t be crumbs of help after change has blown through communities.

It’s a proper plan to build our future prosperity for every part of Britain.

Our British Jobs Bonus.

£2.5bn of public money to crowd in and direct the tens of billions of private investment.

To our industrial heartlands, to our coalfield communities, to our coastal communities, to our oil and gas communities.

Not simply leaving it to the market but planning our clean energy future to tackle the inequalities that scar our country.

That’s the new Britain that we can build together. 

As an MP for a coalfield community, I know we must have a managed, just and worker-led transition.

And we will.

Let me say to oil and gas workers: We will use existing oil and gas fields for decades to come and we will do whatever it takes so that you can be the people to build our clean energy future: in offshore wind, in hydrogen, in carbon capture.

No community left behind or left out.

No more shutting out of trade unions as we build this future.

No more power in this country without jobs in this country.

That’s the new Britain we can build together.

And under Labour, we will use our energy policy as a tool of economic justice. 

Why should only the wealthy have solar panels when they provide cheap, clean energy and cut bills?

So GB Energy will invest £1 billion a year to develop local, renewable power owned by local people.

Thousands of projects across Britain.

Cutting bills, tackling fuel poverty and creating profits not for energy giants but for local communities.

That’s the new Britain we can build together.

In the 20th century through North sea oil, Britain exported to the world.

In the 21st century, with Labour, Britain will be an energy superpower once again, exporting clean power to the world and controlling our economic destiny. 

British families and businesses never again held to ransom by Putin.

So the next Labour government will legislate for an Energy Independence Act for Britain.

That’s the new Britain we can build together.

Now, fifteen years ago the Labour government passed the climate change act, a beacon to the world.

So many people that I meet internationally say: we need Britain back leading again.

Not a country missing in action on the most important issues our world faces.

Under Labour, Britain will be leading again.

Holding other countries to account with the power of our example.

Tackling the cost-of-living crisis, building a new economy and showing leadership on the climate crisis.

That’s the new Britain we can build together.

There is so much to fight for in the months ahead.

There is a mood for change in the air.

But a mood is not enough to guarantee victory.

As we saw last week, the Tories and their friends will fight dirty and desperate to hold onto power.

Let us resolve here today.

If these Tories want a fight about who can tackle the cost-of-living crisis, we say – bring it on.

If these Tories want a fight about who can ensure energy independence for our country, we say – bring it on.

If these Tories want a fight about who can stand up for working people, we say – bring it on.

And if, after 13 years of failure and 5 Prime Ministers, these Tories dare to have a fight, about who can really change Britain, we say bring it on.

We are ready to fight. 

We are ready to lead.

We are ready to govern.

We are ready to change Britain.