“We are NOT in favour of new coal mines,” Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves has told GB News, after the government approved a new UK coal mine for the first time in a decade.
The mine, due to open in Whitehaven, West Cumbria, would create 500 new jobs and 1,500 more supporting roles across one of the UK's poorest regions.
Michael Gove granted planning permission for what would be the first new site in the UK in 30 years after years of delay from the Government.
The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) said the coal will be used for the production of steel and not for power generation.
Friends of the Earth described it as an “appalling decision” that will damage the fight against the climate crisis while not replacing Russian coal.
Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves has cast doubt on whether the plan will come to fruition.
She told Liam Halligan: "There is no coal mine in Whitehaven, and I'm not convinced there will be one by the time of the next election as there is a lot of opposition.
"I very much doubt by the time of the next election, there is going to be a new coal mine. There will be much objection to this.
"We want to create jobs in the north of England, including in Cumbria, but we will be doing this by investing in industries of the future."
Supporters of the coking coal mine on the edge of Whitehaven in Cumbria, which is expected to extract nearly 2.8 million tones per year, say it will create around 500 jobs.
Rachel Reeves spoke to Liam Halligan in a GB News interview. Image: GB News
DLUHC said Mr Gove “agreed to grant planning permission for a new metallurgical coal mine in Cumbria as recommended by the independent planning inspector”.
“This coal will be used for the production of steel and would otherwise need to be imported. It will not be used for power generation,” a statement read.
“The mine seeks to be net zero in its operations and is expected to contribute to local employment and the wider economy.”
The Shadow Chancellor also "welcomed" a possible investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority into the UK’s biggest housebuilders. Large developers have been accused of building deliberately slowly to keep property prices high