Sir Keir Starmer has promised industry leaders in the north east that there will be no cliff edge for oil and gas if Labour forms the next government, despite the party's promise to bring an end to new North Sea licences.

The leader of the opposition met with energy companies and trade unions on Thursday night Offshore Energies UK’s (OEUK) chief executive David Whitehouse described it as a “positive step forward” for the sector’s working relationship with the party.

He was joined by Shadow Climate Secretary Ed Miliband, Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar, Shadow Scottish Secretary Ian Murray and Scottish Labour’s energy spokeswoman Sarah Boyack.

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Russell Borthwick, Chief Executive of Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce, said there had been “a frank and honest exchange about the challenges facing the region, this sector and the 215,000 people whose jobs rely on the right policy decisions being made.”

He added: “The companies in the room and across north east Scotland are ready to make the energy transition happen and want to work constructively with all parties to enable this.”

Speaking to broadcasters on Friday during a visit to the St Fergus Gas Terminal, Sir Keir said: “There was very positive dialogue from the energy sector, absolute clarity, we all want that transition.

“I’m very concerned that we preserve the jobs that we’ve got in oil and gas, which is going to be part of the mix for decades to come – but do more than that, which is ask the question how do we ensure the next generation of jobs are here.”

“Nobody in the sector is saying to me, ‘We don’t want the transition’. What they are saying is, ‘We want the transition but here are the challenges, the pinch points, opportunities of the next generation of jobs, are you coming alongside us?’

“The answer for me, if we form the next government, is yes. “ Sir Keir also ruled out extending the windfall tax, which placed a levy on industry profits, after the sunset clause comes into effect on December 3, 2025.

He said: “The windfall tax was only ever a windfall tax – a short-term solution.

“What I want to see is a long-term solution which is that transition when it comes to energy.

“Windfall tax was necessary because of the bills that were going up so fast and the profits that were being made at the time.

“The long-term solution is to manage through the transition with a plan – thought through with the sector.”

During the visit, Sir Keir pledged to make the UK a clean energy superpower, confirming North Sea industries will be eligible for the British Jobs Bonus – a £2.5 billion fund which aims to create an estimated 29,000 jobs by 2050 by prioritising investment in clean energy developers such as carbon capture.

“The best way to cut bills, get to net zero, grow the economy and retain jobs is with our own homegrown offshore energy industry. “

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SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn - who represents Aberdeen South - said it had taken Sir Keir long enough to finally visit the city.

He said: "It’s taken more than three years but Sir Keir Starmer has finally travelled north in order to assess Aberdeen’s riches - our energy, our workforce and our potential.

“The big question he has repeatedly failed to answer is why we should continue to trust Westminster with Scotland’s energy wealth when we all know they’ve squandered it in comparison to the likes of our Norwegian neighbours.

"Make no mistake, the Scottish people should have their fair share and benefit from these revenues both in terms of cheaper bills, but also jobs and investment.

"The fact is Scotland's energy should be in Scotland's hands. We know Scotland has the energy, we just need the power."