GRANT SHAPPS: Sir Keir Starmer's Labour has become the political wing of Just Stop Oil
Let me introduce you to a Labour councillor from Bridgwater in Somerset called Richard Morgan. Last September, he went to prison for his part in a blockade. As soon as he emerged, he was back blocking the streets with his Just Stop Oil comrades, arrested again after stopping traffic in . What was Labour's response to the hours of inconvenience their councillor caused people? Did they suspend him? Even reprimand him? No. They issued a press release celebrating him as a 'passionate fighter against ... arrested and jailed for his beliefs' and comparing him to Nelson Mandela. Bridgwater council's Labour leader, Councillor Brian Smedley, praised Just Stop Oil as 'part of the general uprising against the '. And in the ultimate snub to those motorists fuming in traffic, Bridgwater's Labour council appointed Richard Morgan as the councillor in charge of... transport. Just one local council? But then there's Kerry McCarthy, the Labour MP for Bristol East. She is one of only ten MPs to sign a pledge by another eco-anarchist group, Extinction Rebellion, promising to put its three main demands into law. One of those demands, net zero by 2025, would throw millions out of work and leave us shivering in the dark. Kerry McCarthy is not just some backbencher. She is Labour's shadow minister for climate change. If Keir Starmer wins the election, this Extinction Rebellion supporter will be in charge. And now, Starmer himself has made Just Stop Oil's dreams come true. He has turned their central demand that Britain should licence no new oil and gas projects into Labour policy. That's described as 'stupid' and 'catastrophic' by key figures in the Labour movement itself, like Gary Smith, leader of the GMB union. They know three things. First, it will cost at least 45,000 jobs. Second, it will allow oil dictators like Vladimir Putin to hold us hostage. And third, craziest of all, it won't even reduce carbon emissions. For decades yet, we'll still need oil and gas. We'll just have to import them instead and emissions from imports are estimated to be twice those from domestic sources. We now know Starmer took 1.5million from Just Stop Oil's funder, Dale Vince. Just this week, Labour voted against new laws to stop protestors disrupting your lives. The Labour Party has become the political wing of Just Stop Oil and other eco-extremists who use ordinary people's lives as their weapon. Starmer and Labour try to say they've changed. That they now care about Britain's security and the livelihoods of working people. But the mask is slipping. They haven't really changed. We will decarbonise with the world's most powerful nuclear reactor and its largest offshore wind farm. But we need leaders who support the safety and prosperity of the country. Energy security is in my job title. And we need leaders who care about good working-class jobs. The Conservatives are the party of North Sea workers. Labour are the party of North London lawyers.