Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has refused to say if he supports the creation of a new nuclear power station at Moorside in west Cumbria.
As campaigning for the Copeland by-election gathers momentum, he told ITV Border's Dan Hewitt that he supported nuclear power as part of the future energy mix, but he would not commit to the idea of any new development in the constituency.
The nuclear industry is a major employer in West Cumbria. If Nugen's proposal to build the nuclear power station at Moorside goes ahead, it would create around 21,000 jobs.
The exchange was recorded as part of an interview with the Labour leader ahead of the Copeland by-election:
- "In 2015 you said 'I'm opposed to new nuclear. New nuclear power will mean the continued production of dangerous nuclear waste'... do you support the building of a new nuclear power plant at Moorside in Copeland?"
- "You say your candidate supports it, my question was do you support it?"
- "For people watching at home that know that Moorside will create 21,000 new jobs in Copleand, in a constituency so heavily dependant on nuclear, you're saying you don't support Moorside...?"
- "For most of your political career, you've been, at best, lukewarm towards the nuclear power industry. How do you convince voters, in a constituency so heavily dependant on that industry, that you are the man, you are the party, that they should now vote for?"
- Do you accept that that is a slight change in tact from what you've said for the past thirty years of your career?
- Should Moorside exist?
Dan Hewitt was later told by a senior Labour MP that the official Labour party position is pro-Moorside.