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Top Stories: Record Energy Giant Profits, Stephen Flynn Ruled Out Of SNP Race

Centrica's profits have tripled since last year (Alamy)

4 min read

British Gas owner Centrica made profits of £3.3billion last year, as household energy bills soared across the country.

The figure is more than three times the £948 million profit recorded the year before, and comes as energy firms have seen their incomes increase as fuel prices jumped following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

British Gas’ market performance was not as strong as Centrica’s, with their profits dropping by 39 per cent from £118 million to £72 million. 

Labour’s shadow climate and net zero secretary Ed Miliband said that his party would prevent the energy price cap for households going up this spring. 

He tweeted this morning: “It cannot be right that, as oil and gas giants rake in the windfalls of war, Rishi Sunak’s Conservatives refuse to implement a proper windfall tax that would make them pay their fair share.

“Labour would use a real windfall tax to stop the energy price cap going up in April.”

SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn rules himself out of race to replace Nicola Sturgeon

Stephen Flynn, the SNP’s leader in Westminster, has ruled himself out of the race to be the next party leader after Nicola Sturgeon announced her intention to resign as leader yesterday after more than eight years as First Minister. 

Flynn, MP for Aberdeen South, said that the next party leader “needs to have the ability to be first minister” based in Holyrood. 

He told Sky News this morning: “I'll not be standing. 

“Of course the next leader of the Scottish National Party needs to have the ability to be First Minister. No MP has the ability to be First Minister for obvious reasons that we are located in London and not Edinburgh. 

"In terms of who I am backing, I have not seen anyone throw their name into the ring yet. Once names start going into that ring I’ll have conversations with my colleagues, see what their policy priorities are in terms of immediate challenges that we face.”

Jeremy Corbyn has "no intention" of standing as an independent MP after Keir Starmer banned him from being Labour's candidate

Jeremy Corbyn has “no intention” of standing as an independent candidate in his current seat of Islington North at the next general election, according to Diane Abbott, who hinted at his lifelong affiliation to Labour. 

Abbott, who served as shadow home secretary during Corbyn’s Labour leadership, made the comments to the News Agents podcast, hours after Keir Starmer ruled out his predecessor standing for the party at the next election. 

But Abbott appeared not to rule out the former leader from still attempting to contest his seat, which he has held since 1983.

“Jeremy has been a member of the Labour Party from before either of you were alive," she said. "He has no intention of standing as an independent.”

Yesterday, party leader Sir Keir Starmer  categorically ruled out the former Labour leader’s return to stand as a Labour MP at the next general election. Corbyn, who remains an MP, had the Labour party whip removed in November 2020 for claiming accusations of antisemitism in the Labour party had been “dramatically overstated for political reasons”.

In the same interview, Abbott, who is Corbyn’s constituency neighbour in Hackney North and Stoke Newington, claimed that “in his heart of hearts” Corbyn is a “Brexiter”. 

Labour promises to boost local police patrols 

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper has promised to boost local policing if Labour win the next general election. 

Cooper said that the party would introduce a neighbourhood policing guarantee, and said community work needs to be the “building blocks” of policing as the “eyes and ears that work in local communities”. 

She told the BBC: "Too often neighbourhood policing has been seen as a Cinderella service in many forces – always the one that gets squeezed or cut back if there are budget cuts or if there are pressures elsewhere."

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