Scottish Secretary in denial over Labour’s nuclear confusion – Swinson

Disagreement within Labour over nuclear power has become more high profile in recent weeks

Secretary of State for Scotland Douglas Alexander is in denial over Labour’s confused position on nuclear power in Scotland, according to Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland Jo Swinson MP.

Speaking in the House of Commons today, Ms Swinson asked Secretary of State for Scotland Douglas Alexander:

“Given the confusion among his colleagues surrounding Scotland’s energy future, can the Secretary of State tell me if he agrees with Scotland’s First Minister, who appears to be suggesting that with major investment in renewables Scotland could be free of nuclear power stations, or his colleague Dr Elaine Murray MSP, who say that Labour will not block any applications for new nuclear build.”

Mr Alexander responded:

“The position of the Scottish Executive is one that has been made clear for a number of months, which is that there are issues which need to be resolved in relation to nuclear waste, there is a process which has been established, both by the United Kingdom Government and the devolved administrations to address that matter, and that work has been ongoing.”

Ms Swinson said:

“Throughout the debate over new nuclear in Scotland, the First Minister has shielded himself behind the unresolved toxic waste disposal issue when pressed over his stance on new nuclear development in Scotland.

“This was the line that the Secretary of State returned to again today, despite the discord within Labour over Scotland’s energy future that has been steadily rising in volume.

“He ignores, or is in denial about, the fact that while the First Minister aligns himself with Scotland’s rapidly developing renewables industry, his own MSPs say they have no principled objections to new nuclear power stations being built in Scotland.

“Mr McConnell is welcome to manoeuvre himself closer to the Liberal Democrats position of seeking to maximise Scotland’s renewable energy potential.

“However, I am concerned that, because of the confusion and discord emanating from Labour over nuclear power, people in Scotland will be prevented from making a clear and informed choice as to where their energy future lies.”

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