Starmer affirms he will adhere to Labour’s fiscal guidelines in order to achieve green objectives.

Statement is clearest sign yet party is willing to drop one of its flagship policies in face of Conservative attacks.

Keir Starmer has ruled out breaking Labour’s fiscal rules to meet its green investment targets if it wins the election this year, in the clearest sign yet that the party is willing to drop one of its flagship policies in the face of Conservative attacks.

The Labour leader told an audience in Bristol on Thursday that he would not borrow enough to spend £28bn on green projects if it meant breaking a separate promise to get debt falling as a proportion of economic output.

The £28bn policy has been at the centre of a tussle between senior Labour figures for months, with some wanting to drop it altogether and others arguing it is an essential part of the party’s growth plan.

Starmer said on Thursday that the £28bn promise was not sacrosanct, and that the party’s main green policy was instead to have zero-carbon power by 2030. “There is no question of pushing back on the mission – the mission is clean power by 2030,” he said.

But he added: “The money that is needed for the investment … will be subject to our fiscal rules. And that means that if the money is for borrowing … but the fiscal rules don’t allow it, then we will borrow less.”

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