Britain faces "lights out" without Hinkley Point progress, says Labour leadership challenger Owen Smith

Mark Sands
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Labour will choose a new leader on September 24 (Source: Getty)

Britain faces an energy crisis with the construction of Hinkley Point on hold, according to Labour leadership challenger Owen Smith.

Smith, who is bidding to replace Jeremy Corbyn as leader on September 24, said that Britain should “get on with” approving the two new nuclear reactors.

Theresa May's government unexpectedly slammed the brakes on the Hinkley Point project last week just hours after French energy giant EDF approved its construction.

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And speaking on ITN earlier today, Smith said: “We should be investing in Hinkley Point but we could be doing a lot more of that by investing in the UK using UK revenues.

“There is a very real danger, especially if we do what I want to do and increase the industrial output of Britain, get us making things once more, that we just won't have enough power to keep the lights on as things are going.”

The decision to pause the Hinkley Point project saw China's media scold the UK government, arguing that it raised questions about the UK's openness to foreign investment.

Read More: Vince Cable on Theresa May "objections" to Hinkley Point and Chinese funds

Smith said: “We should be getting on with it [Hinkley Point] not least because there are thousands and thousands of jobs depending on this project.

“Prevarication and weakness from the government is leading to jeopardising those jobs.”

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