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Minister Quizzed Over Moorside Fiasco

Tuesday, June 27, 2017



The dog's dinner that is Moorside currently is a living example of why Britain should not leave it to foreign companies to keep the country’s lights on.

The Labour MP Rachel Reeves, member for Leeds West, used the first Business, Energy and Industry Strategy question session since the general election to demand the government step in and shore up the £10 billion project to build a new nuclear power station at Moorside in Cumbria. [1]

Moorside is set to deliver seven per cent of the UK’s electricity from 2025 but has been beset by a series of setbacks.

French firm Engie [2], which was backing the project with Toshiba, pulled out of the project last month after Toshiba announced multi-billion dollar losses, causing the Japanese company’s chairman Shigenori Shiga to step down. [3]

Then Toshiba’s US arm Westinghouse, which is producing the reactors for Moorside, went bankrupt. [4]

Rachel Reeves, MP for Leeds West, asked the Secretary of State:

“Energy security is essential for national security and family finances.

“The potential energy project at Moorside in Cumbria is key for such security but with Toshiba now predicted to lose £7 billion and the French firm backing the project pulling out, can the Secretary of State tell us if and when this project is going ahead and give the assurances that industry, workers and consumers desperately need?”

Greg Clarke, the Secretary of State, fumbled his answer and sought to palm off responsibility to the consortium NuGen, saying “they've expressed themselves confident that they will proceed."

He also failed to give an answer to the simple question of when the development will go ahead.

Justin Bowden, GMB National Secretary, said:

“Rachel Reeves is absolutely right to raise the UK’s vital energy needs in the House of Commons.

“This is not a party political matter, it is about the security of our country's future energy supply.

“Government reassurance by stepping in at Moorside is long overdue.

“The Moorside project has suffered a series of avoidable disasters, all the result of misguided decisions by government to palm off the responsibility to maintain our future energy supply to foreign companies.

“Greg Clarke's lacklustre response leaves us with more questions than answers at a time when strong leadership couldn't be more important.

“The dog's dinner that is Moorside currently is a living example of why Britain should not leave it to foreign companies to keep the country’s lights on.”


Contact: GMB Press Office on 07958 156846 or at

Notes to editors:


[2] Huge Concern' As Moorside Investor Walks Away

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

‘There is too much at stake for project not to go ahead’ says union.

Read more:

[3] Toshiba Resignation Must Not Jeopardise Moorside

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Fiasco shows exactly why relying on foreign companies for energy needs ‘plain stupid'

Read more:

[4] GMB Demands Moorside Reassurance as Westinghouse Goes Bust

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

It’s vital project is given certainty in wake of Westinghouse bankruptcy says union

Read more:

Previous press releases:

'Keep Moorside on Track'

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Relying on foreign money to build our infrastructure is always fraught with risks says GMB

Read more:

GMB Demands Clarity over Moorside

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Union says this is why foreign investors shouldn't be left to keep Britain's lights on

Read more:

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