The prime minister confirmed 100 new oil and gas licences will be granted in the UK

Rishi Sunak visit to north-east Scotland today will focus on North Sea energy that is intended to draw a dividing line between the government and Labour’s plan to ban new oil and gas projects.

A Downing Street announcement said the prime minister will meet “key energy industry figures and companies”, and outline policies to ensure energy security.

Every family and business is paying the price, in higher energy bills, of 13 years of failed Tory energy policy. It is absurd that having left this country so exposed, the Conservative party is asking the public to believe they can fix it.

And it’s telling that while Labour focuses on lower bills and good jobs, Rishi Sunak lurches desperately towards a culture war on climate to appease his split party, losing track of what he believes from day to day, depending on which faction he’s met with.

Whilst I do welcome the fact that we are now in this position and it is of course excellent news for the north-east of Scotland, I’m very frustrated that it’s taken 18 years to get to this point.

I think in anything that comes from the UK government the devil will very much be in the detail but I don’t think anyone can step away from the fact that this is a positive step in the right direction after 18 years of dither and delay.

I guess the key thing now is making sure… that the UK government back up this announcement today with real progress in terms of timing and the evaluation process.

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