SIR Keir Starmer pledged to support projects that will strengthen Britain's energy security during his visit to Hinkley Point C yesterday (June 5).

The leader of the opposition gave a short speech to workers at the nuclear construction site before taking part in a Q&A session. 

Referring to Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the cost-of-living crisis, Sir Keir said his party would back other projects similar to Hinkley to secure Britain's energy supply from external forces.

He had previously outlined plans to launch a new publicly owned clean energy company, called GB Energy, if a Labour government is elected.

Speaking to Hinkley workers, Sir Keir said: “This is really inspiring; I much prefer this to being in Parliament.

“This is where real work is done. This is about the future of our country.

“And I’ve had a briefing on the different roles you do and the different skills that you give to this, but each of you in your own way has contributed to what is going to be an incredible part of the future of our country. That is incredible.

“I feel proud of what you do. I really have got in my mind that moment in 10 or 20 years when this is powering our country, and you’re all going to be able to say proudly, ‘I was part of it! I was part of the team that did that’.

“It’s so important for our country, so we’re really committed to projects like this.

“We really want to get them moving on nuclear as a vital part of our future and if we come into government, we’ll have a government that’s absolutely determined to push these projects through.

“This is only what of what will be a number of projects like this. What you’re doing here is incredibly important, particularly when you look at the last couple of years on energy.

“We really need our own supply of secure, cheap energy that’s reliable so we’re not at the mercy of the international market and at the mercy of Putin and others. You are doing that not just here at Hinkley but all over the country.”

The Hinkley Point C project has faced delays since work began.

Last year, EDF pushed the revised operating date back by a year to June 2027 and increased its budget by £3 billion, citing the effects of Covid.

While on site, Sir Keir said the government has been “holding our country back” and the power station should have been delivered by now.

He also accused the Conservatives of a “shambolic” failure to open any nuclear power plants during their 13 years in government.  

In response, a Conservative spokesperson blamed Labour for ‘cutting the legs off Britain's nuclear industry’ in 1997, adding: “The Conservatives started turning that around, delivering the first large-scale nuclear project Hinkley Point C and agreeing last year to begin Sizewell C.”