Just Stop Oil ‘green fanatics’ are ‘writing Keir Starmer’s energy policy’, warns Rishi Sunak

Rishi Sunak meets with Senate leaders at the US Capitol in Washington - Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Rishi Sunak meets with Senate leaders at the US Capitol in Washington – Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Labor’s energy policy is written by eco-zealots and will benefit Vladimir Putin’s regime, says Rishi Sunak.

Speaking during a trip to Washington, the Prime Minister said Sir Keir Starmer’s ban on new oil and gas licenses in the North Sea would lead to an “energy capitulation”.

In a virulent attack, he said Labor’s policy of ‘weakness and dependency’ would only benefit ‘dictators and autocrats’.

Mr Sunak spoke out after it emerged Labor had received £1.5million from one of Just Stop Oil’s biggest backers.

Dale Vince, a green energy entrepreneur, has donated money to Labor since 2014.

The Tories have demanded the party return the money, arguing it legitimizes Just Stop Oil’s disruptive tactics.

Protests from the environmental group, which wants the government to suspend new exploration licenses for oil and other fossil fuels in the UK, include blocking roads and disrupting sporting events.

Sir Keir has previously described Just Stop Oil protesters as ‘arrogant’ and ‘fake’ – and the party says the group has no impact on its policy-making.

But the Prime Minister rejected that – suggesting that Labour’s North Sea oil and gas ban was very similar to demands made by Just Stop Oil.

Dale Vince, a green energy entrepreneur, has given work £1.5 million since 2014 - Alistair Heap/Alamy Stock Photo

Dale Vince, a green energy entrepreneur, has donated £1.5m labor since 2014 – Alistair Heap/Alamy Stock Photo

Asked if Labor needed to be clear about how its policies were shaped, Mr Sunak said: ‘It seems like these kind of environmental fanatics at Just Stop Oil are writing Keir Starmer’s energy policy and, not content to disrupt our beloved summer and sports. events, they essentially lead us to energetic abandonment.

“My view is that we should focus on energy security, not weakness and dependency, which seems to be Labor policy.

“They are putting ideology before jobs, before investment and before our energy security – I think that is wrong and the wrong policy for the UK.”

He added: “It’s a completely bizarre policy that says ‘we won’t ban oil and gas, we’ll just ban British oil and gas’.

“The only people who benefit from Keir Starmer’s energy policy are dictators and autocrats like Vladimir Putin.”

“Job-destroying carelessness”

Oliver Dowden, the Deputy Prime Minister, also attacked Labor over the donations and accused Sir Keir of copying Just Stop Oil’s ‘job-killing’ policies.

“Adopting their policy to block new oil and gas is job-destroying recklessness, and it is unfortunately hard workers who will pay the price,” he told the Commons.

Labor has pledged to block all new domestic oil and gas developments and invest in renewables if they gain power.

But the plan was vigorously attacked by the unions.

A spokeswoman for Sir Keir said: “Keir has been outspoken in his condemnation of Just Stop Oil which he says has put lives and livelihoods at risk. The idea that they influenced our politics is for the birds.

“The modern Labor Party does not bow to fringe lobbies or extremists – every position we take and everything we do is firmly focused on safety and opportunity for hard-working Britons.”

Broaden your horizons with award-winning British journalism. Try The Telegraph free for 1 month, then get a year for just $9 with our exclusive US offer.

Leave a Comment