Sarah Boyack challenged over Labour’s nuclear power plans


SNP MSP Shirley Anne Somerville – a member of the Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee – has challenged Labour’s Scottish Rural Affairs & Environment spokesperson, Sarah Boyack to clarify her position on nuclear power stations after a Labour document indicated the party’s support for a new generation of nuclear power stations in Scotland.

According to the Report of Labour’s Scottish Policy Forum – “Ideas for a Fairer Scotland” – it says that Labour “believe the SNP are wrong to rule out the building of new nuclear power stations”.

Ms Boyack has previously tabled motions criticising nuclear power and claimed that new nuclear plants would be inconsistent with environmental sustainability.  However in her speech to the Labour conference in Oban yesterday Ms Boyack made no mention of nuclear.

Commenting Ms Somerville said:

“Sarah Boyack and a number of other Labour MSPs are among the majority of MSPs opposed to nuclear, not least because the waste issue has never been resolved.

“She must now come clean. Does she support a new generation of nuclear powers stations in Scotland and if she does what has changed her mind?

“The SNP Government’s energy position is very clear – we will focus on developing the comparative advantage that Scotland has in clean, green energy.  Not only making a better environment but working to create jobs in the growing renewables industry.

The SNP MSP highlighted her party’s ambitious climate change targets and recycling targets and called on Labour to abandon its nuclear plans claiming that Scotland’s future energy needs could be met through renewables.

Ms Somerville added:

“We have passed some of the most ambitious climate change legislation in the world by replacing the targets inherited from the Labour-led Executive with higher targets in both recycling and renewable energy:

“And we have approved more renewable energy applications in our first 18 months than the Labour-led Executive did in four years.  The SNP has set a target of 100% of our electricity from renewable sources by 2025.  Labour should leave their nuclear ambitions aside and sign up to the green future for Scotland the SNP support.

“The question for Sarah Boyack is one about her credibility. Has she now abandoned those principles she held so dear only a few years ago.”

Sarah Boyack’s full speech can be read here: