Angela Rayner says Conservatives have 'got a nerve' to criticise Robin Hood Energy

Angela Rayner during a visit to Carlton-in-Lindrick, near Worksop in Nottinghamshire, pictured in front of the red Labour campaign bus
-Credit: (Image: Nottingham Post/Oliver Pridmore)

Labour's deputy leader says the Conservative Party has "got a nerve" to criticise Nottingham City Council over the collapse of Robin Hood Energy. The Conservative Party at the national level posted a thread on social media at the weekend about Robin Hood Energy, which the party described as being "fuelled by hollow socialist ideals."

The posts went on to describe the company as leaving "the people of Nottingham with a multi-million pound black hole to fill." Labour has pledged to set up 'Great British Energy' if elected, a publicly-owned clean power company funded by a windfall tax on energy giants, and the Conservatives added: "Labour's failure to set up an energy company for Nottingham should be a warning for what they'd do across the country."

Angela Rayner rejected this criticism during a visit to Nottinghamshire on Monday (June 3). Ms Rayner said although councils like Nottingham would still face a challenging few years under Labour, the party would "settle down the finances" of local authorities if elected after the July 4 general election.

Should Nottingham City Council have managed its finances better over the last 10 years? Let us know here

With Nottingham City Council continuing to implement significant cuts, including the proposed closure of four libraries, Labour's deputy leader said the party would take three key steps to help local councils if elected. These would be introducing multi-year funding settlements, so that councils know how much money they will get from Government over a longer period than the current 12 months.

Ms Rayner also said Labour will ban no-fault eviction notices to ease the homelessness crisis being faced by councils and re-introduce an auditing system to provide an "early warning system" if things go wrong at councils. The job of appointing auditors to look through financial accounts was once carried out by the Audit Commission but since that body was formally closed by the Conservative Government in 2015, councils usually turn to private sector firms to carry out the work.

Responding to the Conservatives' Robin Hood Energy jibe, Ms Rayner said: "The Tories have promoted and pushed councils to look at how they can be more entrepreneurial and then they took away the auditing function. It was kind of like taking the breaks out of a racing car and whacking down the acceleration.

"I think they've got a nerve to be honest. Fourteen years of chaos, Conservative councils are struggling at the moment as well, I think they've got a nerve to say and make political points out of it. I want to help all councils to reach their full potential and to put them on secure footing into the future."