A SCOTTISH Greens MSP has written to Anas Sarwar calling on him to commit to any future UK Labour government ruling out a new nuclear reactor being built in Scotland.

We told this week how the UK Government is considering plans to build a nuclear reactor in Scotland despite fierce opposition from the SNP.

It was a move which was condemned by the First Minister, who hit out at the Scottish Secretary for keeping the plans a secret from the Scottish Government.

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In a letter to the Scottish Labour leader seen by The National, MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife Mark Ruskell condemned the move and called on Sarwar to ensure any future UK Labour government would drop these plans.

He also urged Sarwar to make clear if his party would support a replacement for the Torness nuclear station, which is set to be decommissioned in 2028.

Speaking to The National, Ruskell said: “Scotland does not need or want nuclear power. It is unsafe, expensive and leaves a toxic legacy for future generations.

“It is also a big distraction. Scotland has a huge abundance of renewable resources that we must be investing in and supporting.

“I have written to Mr Sarwar in the hope that he will provide clarity and assurance that a future Labour government would drop plans to expand nuclear power in Scotland against the wishes of our parliament.

“This is a time for progressive parties to stand together for our climate, and I hope that Mr Sarwar will oppose any plans for a new reactor or for a return to nuclear power once Torness has been decommissioned.”

Despite the SNP’s opposition to new nuclear stations in Scotland, Jack claimed there would be a “Unionist regime” at Holyrood after the 2026 elections.

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John Swinney (above) described the move as “utterly and completely incompatible with good intergovernmental working” and that it was “illustrative of the damaging behaviour, the menacing behaviour, of the Secretary of State for Scotland”


Dear Anas Sarwar

As you will be aware, the Conservative Secretary of State for Scotland, Alister Jack, has asked the Energy Minister to draw-up plans for a nuclear reactor for Scotland.

This comes despite the strong opposition of the Scottish Government and our parliament, and sends an extremely disrespectful message.

The fact that Mr Jack (below) has not even sought to raise this plan with the Scottish Government or MSPs should concern all of us who care about devolution.

The National:

A new reactor would not only be unsafe, it would be very costly and would leave a toxic legacy.

It would also distract from the vital work we need to do to boost clean, green and renewable energy.

We could be only months away from a Labour government taking office in Westminster.

As leader of Scottish Labour, this raises important questions that I, and many others, would like you to clarify.

  1. Would a future Labour government in Westminster continue with a plan to open a new nuclear reactor in Scotland?
  2. Will Scottish Labour support a new nuclear reactor or a replacement for the Torness nuclear site after it has been decommissioned in 2028?

It was a Scottish Labour First Minister, Jack McConnell, who rightly stood up to Tony Blair’s UK government in 2005 and challenged the expansion of nuclear energy in Scotland due to safety concerns.

I hope that your party will not move away from this position and will not accept this kind of environmental vandalism and constitutional overreach from Westminster.

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The phasing out of nuclear energy has been a huge achievement of devolution, and one we must continue.

I look forward to hearing from you, and hope that we can work together to ensure a fairer, greener Scotland based without nuclear power.