Energy Review

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:30 pm on 25th June 1998.

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Photo of Margaret Beckett Margaret Beckett The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills 3:30 pm, 25th June 1998

I am grateful to my right hon. Friend for his recognition of the ludicrous attitude of the Conservative party. He talks about a serious, long-term policy, the coal reserves that may be available and his concern about the mining manufacturing industry, and I completely understand that those issues arise. However, I do not share his view that the serious, long-term and sustainable energy policy that we have outlined today will not leave a place for coal. We inherited a market in which coal had no future—that was, indeed, a measure of the Conservative party's hypocrisy—but, in these proposals, the Government are creating the space within which the coal industry has a chance to make its case.