LABOUR have denied it is dropping a pledge to invest £28 billion a year in green projects.

It came after a report that the expenditure commitment was being axed.

The party also failed to mention the commitment in a campaigning brief published earlier this week.

But on Friday evening, a Labour spokesperson said: “We are committed to Labour’s Green Prosperity Plan to drive growth and create jobs, including our plan to ramp up to £28 billion of annual investment in the second half of the parliament, subject to our fiscal rules.”

The Sun had earlier reported that the opposition party was dumping the £28 billion expenditure pledge, while retaining the policy ambition.

The newspaper quoted an unnamed source as saying the figure had “become an albatross around our neck”.

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The Guardian said senior party officials will hold crunch talks on the plan’s fate and could still abandon it if they conclude it will damage the party in an election campaign.

The reports prompted criticism, with SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn saying: “Winning the global race to net zero is essential to securing economic growth, energy security, skilled jobs and inward investment.

“Turning away from delivery, out of fear of being attacked by the worst Tory Government in history, is desperate and dispiriting.”

Labour’s key pitch has come under scrutiny in recent months, with the Tories branding it unaffordable in attacks that have become more frequent since the UK entered an election year.

Sir Keir Starmer has previously hinted he could scale down the investment given the financial picture he would inherit if he becomes prime minister.

The National: Andy Burnham has urged Keir Starmer to stick to the pledgeAndy Burnham has urged Keir Starmer to stick to the pledge (Image: PA)

But supporters have been concerned about watering it down.

Andy Burnham (above), the Labour mayor for Greater Manchester, last week urged Starmer to “stick to your guns” on the policy to invest in the future.

“This is not spending, this is investment in the future, investment in new industry, investment in better homes for our residents, better transport,” he said.

The Labour leader on Sunday told the BBC that he stood by the policy, but added numerous caveats, saying it was “subject to what the Government has already assigned” for environmental projects and needs to be “within our fiscal rules”.

Labour promised in 2021 to invest £28 billion a year until 2030 in green projects if it came to power.

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But last year shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves said it would instead be a target to work towards in the second half of a first parliament, if Labour wins an election.

Meanwhile, the Scottish Greens have urged Labour to "come clean" following the reports it was on the verge of dropping the commitment entirely. 

The party's climate spokesperson Mark Ruskell said: 

“Sir Keir Starmer’s policies have frequently proven to be worth less than the paper they’re written on. One by one they’ve been ripped up, cast aside, and forgotten.

"And that’s before he even gets a sniff of power. But we can’t afford to see more backsliding on climate policy.

“He has already said he would keep the climate-wrecking Rosebank oil field. Rolling back on his £28 billion climate pledge would be a major betrayal of future generations. If he doubles down with this reported U-turn then he would be selling out their future at a time when a shift from fossil fuels to renewables is more urgent than ever.

“Keir Starmer can end the speculation by coming clean about the cuts or, far better, reaffirming his commitment to the climate action that his party has promised."