Sir Keir Starmer has given the biggest hint yet that the party will base their publicly owned energy company in Aberdeen if they win the next election.

Labour says that Great British Energy could take up to £1,400 off the annual household bill and support 50,000 jobs.

Business leaders in the North East have long urged him to commit to headquartering the firm in the city.

READ MORE: Labour MPs defy Sir Keir Starmer to back SNP call for Gaza ceasefire

Following a meeting with energy leaders, Sir Keir said: “Labour will deliver lower bills, good jobs, and energy security for Scotland and the whole UK, as Britain leads the world in the fight against climate change.

“The route to making Britain a clean energy superpower, slashing energy bills and creating tens of thousands of quality jobs runs through Scotland.

“It’s clear that so much of the expertise that is needed to make Scotland the UK the first clean energy superpower is here in Scotland - and particularly the North East.

“Our energy plans will be made in Scotland - cutting energy bills for Scottish families and delivering the jobs and investment in Scottish communities that for far too long have been let down by the SNP and Conservatives.”

His visit to the city comes six months after he promised to make the trip after being invited by the Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce.

Speaking ahead of what she described as a “flying visit” by Sir Keir, the SNP’s Energy Minister Gillian Martin said the party boss lacked ambition.

She said: “It speaks volumes that the sum of Labour’s ambition for energy-rich Scotland is merely to annex a portion of a Whitehall department north of the border.

“Frankly it’s an insult to the people of the North East who deserve much better from Westminster.

“Successive UK governments have used Scotland’s energy industry as a cash cow while household energy bills rocket and communities intrinsically linked to the sector have become poorer.

“With our future-facing £500 million commitment to the Just Transition Fund, only the Scottish Government has the vision and ambition to help Scotland realise its potential as a net zero capital of the world – taking workers, communities and businesses along with us in the process.

“Keir Starmer must commit that the Scottish Government will be a key part of all discussions that involve Scotland’s wealth of natural resources to ensure households receive the full benefits of our green energy potential in terms of jobs, bills, energy security and business investment.

“It’s also time for Labour to confirm if they will match the Scottish Government’s £500 million investment in the Just Transition Fund to help workers reskill.”

Sir Keir's visit also comes just days after he faced the biggest rebellion of his leadership, with 56 of his MPs defying the whip to back an SNP motion calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

The Herald:

He was asked about the party splits as he visited the InchDairnie distillery in Glenrothes.

Sir Keir told ITV News: “Of course I want us to move forward as united as we can as a party, but you wouldn’t expect me to stand here today and say my concern is the Labour Party management rather than the hostages and the innocent civilians and children that are dying in Gaza. 

“My focus and attention is there, and that’s where it is and where it will always be.”

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During the visit to the distillery, he also criticised the UK Government’s “unforgivable” trade strategy.

He said a government he leads would put in place a trade strategy that would “back Scotch producers to the hilt”.

He added: “Scotch should be something we’re knocking back, not knocking down. The nation’s number one export, Scotland is the beating heart of the world’s whisky industry.

“From Skye to Stirling, Scotland’s 140 distilleries put the nation on the map around the world.

“Nowhere is Scotch whisky more popular than India. We should be celebrating that fact.

“But instead of backing the industry with a coherent strategy for international trade, successive Conservative governments have broken promises, failed to negotiate a deal with India, and watched opportunities for growth drain away.

“That’s unforgivable.

“The industry is crying out for certainty.

“Whether it’s micro distilleries scaling up, or larger businesses reaching new international markets, they need stability to make that happen.

“Hearing from staff at InchDairnie today, the importance of that is not lost on me. It brings much-needed security for working people.”

UK trade minister Greg Hands said Sir Keir “cannot be trusted to back our world-leading Scotch whisky industry”.

He added: “Labour has failed to support our free trade agreements – like those with Australia and New Zealand – which abolish tariffs completely. Labour has been lukewarm about joining CPTPP, which would further unlock markets in fast-growing Asian and Latin American countries.

“We have already secured trade deals with 73 countries plus the EU, which have brought huge benefits to Scotch and Irish whisky.

“Only the Conservatives will back British businesses and provide long-term certainty for our world-leading whisky industry.”

Mark Kent, the chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association who accompanied Sir Keir during his visit to Fife, said the industry “needs support at home” to be a global success.

He added: “That means a competitive business environment, and with the highest spirits duty in the G7, currently the UK is out of step with other developed economies in how it treats Scotland’s national drink.”

Next week’s autumn statement, he said, will be a “key indicator” of how Scotch whisky is supported, as he pushed for a freeze on the tax.