Andrew Marr was stunned when Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer rejected suggestions his electoral manifesto included a pledge to nationalise suppliers. The BBC presenter confronted Sir Keir with a snipped of the manifesto, reading: “Public services should be in public hands, not making profits for shareholders. Support common ownership of rail, mail, energy and water.” When asked about his plans for nationalisation, the Labour leader insisted the pledge did not include any such plans.
Andrew Marr asked: “Will you nationalise the big six energy companies?”
Sir Keir replied: “Well, the immediate problem with the energy companies is how we ensure the supply of energy through the winter and into next year.
“And to do that without raising the prices for working people.”
Mr Marr did not appear appeased with the response, and asked once again: “But I’m asking you a big principled question. Will you nationalise the big six energy companies, yes or no?”
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The Labour leader simply replied with a “no”, prompting the BBC presenter to say: “No. This is what you said as part of your ten pledges.
“Public services should be in public hands, not making profits for shareholders. Support common ownership of rail, mail, energy and water.”
“You promised that 18 months ago and now you’re saying no.”
Sir Keir said: “I don’t see nationalisation there. There’s a world of difference.
“Public services should be in public hands but when it comes to something like energy, we’ve got an immediate problem we’ve got to solve.
“When it comes to public ownership, I’m pragmatic. I do not agree with the argument that we should be ideological.”
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