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Ed Miliband wants Labour to become an energy supplier. Would you trust them to handle your electricity?

By Matthew Barrett
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Miliband Ed March 2012Ed Miliband, in his interview with the Guardian this morning, came out with a rather bizarre proposal. He said that Labour is considering "organising the bulk purchase of cheap electricity to sell at a discount" to ordinary households, to be distributed through Labour's grassroots:

"Miliband said: "It is an outstanding idea. It might involve working with, or emulating what [the activist organisation] 38 degrees and Which? magazine are trying to do, which is to sign up people to bulk buy energy from the energy companies.

"We are thinking of going to the energy companies as the Labour party so that 'responsible capitalism' is not just an idea, but something practical. We think we may be able to deliver it through our grassroots network.""

Given that Labour have hardly done an inspirational job as a political party, attempting to juggle Westminster politics with something as complex as being an energy supplier would not seem to be a logical next step, and it's doubtful consumers would take Miliband's proposal seriously. 

HENDRY CHARLESCharles Hendry, the Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change, has issued the following statement, pushing back against Miliband's new idea:

"Labour seem to under the delusion that they are a trusted brand like Which?, but why would anyone buy their electricity from the people who bankrupted the economy? Labour had 13 years to deal with the energy market, but on their watch energy prices skyrocketed. It's all very well for Ed Miliband to talk about cutting bills, two years ago he was in the Cabinet, as Energy Secretary, and yet he did nothing to help families with their bills."

While Miliband is focused on energy bills, it might be worth someone pointing out to him that by not adopting the Government's Feed-in Tariff reductions for small and larger-scale solar panels, Labour's plans would mean an extra £90 a year for the average household's electricity bill.