Utility Week

UTILITY Week 9th September 2016

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10 | 9TH - 15TH SEPTEMBER 2016 | UTILITY WEEK Lobby Policy / Party conferences Policy & Regulation A year on from Labour's last leadership challenge and the party finds itself in the same situation once again. In the red corner, holding the title of party leader and the man who was backed by almost 60 per cent of Labour members in 2015, Jeremy Corbyn. In the other red corner, his challenger, the man who successfully saw off the chal- lenge of the woman who started the wheels in motion for the leadership contest, Owen Smith. As the race enters its final couple of weeks, both the incumbent and the con- tender are stepping up their campaigns and setting out their visions for the party, and the country. Corbyn and Smith claim to be cut from the same traditional Labour cloth, pushing more socialist ideals than seen under the previ- ous leadership of Tony Blair, Gordon Brown or Ed Miliband. This includes renationali- sation talk, primarily around the railways, although each man would seek to shake up the energy sector and make it "fairer" for the end consumer, and clamping down on the big utilities. With the future of the party at stake, and potentially its very cohesion as cracks widen Follow the leader? The outcome of the imminent Labour leadership contest will be a defining moment for opposition policy, says Mathew Beech. between grassroots members and the Parlia- mentary Labour Party (PLP), both men will hope their arguments will win the day with the party's 500,000 members, and ultimately lead Labour into power. Tackling the trilemma Corbyn and Smith have both set out plans to reduce Britain's carbon emissions and to continue the transition to a low carbon economy. However, the incumbent Labour leader has been far more explicit about his plans and the targets he wants the party, if they get elected under his stewardship, to achieve. In his ten leadership pledges, Corbyn sets out his intention to put "social justice at the heart of our environment" by making sure the UK takes its "fair share of action to meet the Paris climate agreement". The first step in this plan is for Britain to get on track to achieve its Climate Change Act goals – reducing carbon emissions to 80 per cent of 1990 levels by 2050. Innovative technology is the backbone to achieving this. Corbyn has sung the praises of the Islington heat network, which uses excess heat from the London Underground. Fracking, however, is vehemently opposed, Jeremy Corbyn Age: 67 Constituency: Islington North Political career: MP since June 1983; leader of the Labour party from September 2015; member of the justice committee between May 2011 and March 2015; member of the London regional select committee from December 2009 to May 2010; member of the social security committee between April 1992 and March 1997. Owen Smith Age: 46 Constituency: Pontypridd Political career: MP for Pontypridd since May 2010; former shadow work and pensions secretary from September 2015 to June 2016; shadow Wales secretary between May 2012 and September 2015; shadow Welsh minister from October 2010 to October 2011; member of the Welsh affairs committee between July 2010 and November 2011. WHO WOULD MAKE A BETTER LEADER OF THE LABOUR PARTY? 10-12 August 2016 Source: ComRes Labour supporters General public Corbyn 47% Corbyn 23% Smith 25% Smith 37%

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