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Labour up energy jobs promise for Scots in angry debate clash with SNP

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MORE than 100,000 energy jobs will be created in Scotland alone due to Labour’s plans to set up GB Energy north of the border, Angela Rayner claimed last night.

The new figure came during angry exchanges with SNP Commons leader Stephen Flynn in the BBC’s first election TV debate.

Angela Rayner (left) and Penny Mordaunt (right) clashed during the debate on the BBCCredit: AFP
SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn arrives at the BBC for the TV debateCredit: Alamy

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Labour’s deputy leader and Mr Flynn clashed over energy policy during the hour-and-a-half long clash which included seven top figures from across the UK’s political parties.

Tory leader of the House of Commons Penny Mordaunt, Nigel Farage, Reform UK’s leader, Green Party co-leader Carla Denyer, Lib Dem deputy leader Daisy Cooper, and Plaid Cymru leader Rhun ap Iorweth also took part.

It is the first UK-wide multi-party debate and saw clashes on issues including defence spending, public services, and climate policy.

And Ms Rayner insisted Scottish Labour’s policy to set-up GB Energy in Scotland would result in more than 100,000 jobs being created in Scotland alone – despite SNP and industry warnings the plans for a stricter oil and gas windfall tax would result in a similar number of job losses.

She said: “GB Energy will give us the jobs of the future, hundreds of thousands of jobs across the UK including in Scotland where GB Energy’s headquarters will be based.”

But Ms Rayner was pressed by Mr Flynn on the industry warnings that 100,000 jobs will be lost in the oil and gas sector due to Labour’s plans.

The deputy leader responded: “And there will be more jobs under our plans, there will be more jobs than 100,000 in Scotland under Labour.”

The figure is at least 31,000 jobs more than the official figure promised by Scottish Labour so far in this campaign.

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Though Scottish Labour sources later claimed Ms Rayner was “rebutting Flynn’s 100,000 figure, not setting out a GB Energy claim.”

Ms Mordaunt claimed the policy will result in “giant bills”, adding: “Do you know what GB stands for?

“It stands for giant bills, and more bills are coming with the net zero plans that Labour have.”

Five fiercest moments from Penny Mordaunt and Angela Rayner’s blazing TV debate – leaving Nigel Farage a sideshow

Earlier in the debate, the ex-Tory leadership candidate labelled Rishi Sunak “completely wrong” for leaving D-Day commemorations early during a seven-way TV debate last night.

She said: “What happened was completely wrong and the Prime Minister has rightly apologised for that, apologised to veterans but also to all of us, because he was representing all of us.”

But Mr Farage rejected calls from the Tory minister for the issue not to be a “political football”.

He said: “It already is, because the veterans themselves are speaking out saying he’s let the country down.”

Later on, the Nats Westminster leader Mr Flynn accused Mr Farage of “not believing in the NHS” after he said the funding model of the health service needed to change.

Mr Flynn said: “This is Nigel telling us he doesn’t believe in the NHS, this is what he’s doing, he’s telling the public he does not believe in the NHS, a national treasure.

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“You want to privatise it, that is what you want to do.”

Asked if he wants more private healthcare, Mr Farage said: “No, let’s change the model.”

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