HUMZA Yousaf has said that the SNP “will not let” Scotland’s North East go the way coal and mining towns went under Margaret Thatcher.

Delivering a campaign speech in Aberdeen, the First Minister said this is what Labour are “threatening to do” and said the SNP will not back the proposals for extending the windfall tax to oil and gas companies.

Keir Starmer promised a “proper” windfall tax earlier this month when he scaled back his party’s £28 billion-a-year green investment pledge.

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A new energy profits levy for oil and gas production was introduced in 2022 after global energy prices shot up in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Labour intends to extend the tax to 2029 if they reach government, leading to panic in the sector.

The body representing the offshore oil and gas industry recently announced it was holding what it calls “emergency summits” as a result.

Yousaf has said there is an “extreme anger” in the north-east of Scotland at Labour’s “aggressive” plans.

Joined by SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn, the MP for Aberdeen South, he said Aberdeen has “bankrolled” successive Westminster governments – Labour and Tory – but has received “little in return”.

He said: “That is a source, rightly, of extreme anger.

“That anger reached new levels last week when Labour announced their plans to raid the north-east energy industry, to the cost of some 100,000 jobs to the sector, all while dumping their plans to invest in the green economy.”

He added: “Let’s be abundantly clear. The SNP believes in a just transition.

“There is no justice in a transition that throws north-east workers on the scrap heap.

“The SNP will not let the north-east go the way that coal and mining towns went under Thatcher – that is exactly what Labour is threatening to do.

“You cannot deliver a just transition from oil and gas – for the people and businesses that rely on it – if you squeeze the life out of the sector overnight. That is why the SNP will oppose Labour’s aggressive tax plans for the sector.”

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The SNP leader took aim at Westminster parties, saying that when they need cash “they look to Scotland” and that the Labour policy is designed “solely to plug the massive financial hole” in plans to build new nuclear power plants in England.

“Once again the workers of the north east are being asked to pay the price because of Westminster’s economic and energy mismanagement,” he said.

“The Tories are no better – they want to bury their heads in the sand. Having told Scotland for 50 years that oil is about to run out, they now want pretend that it can last forever.

“That we don’t need change. That we can avoid making the investment needed in the new energy economy, because the old one will always be there. Neither position is credible.”

He also pitched his party as the only one which can deliver Scotland’s “green future” at His Majesty’s Theatre in the city, saying that revenue gained through oil and gas taxation has been squandered by Westminster.

“Some would argue that this is a historic issue. A mistake of the past. But it has relevance today, because we are on the verge of a similar opportunity.

“Scotland can be at the forefront of the green energy revolution. Using the skills and expertise developed in the North Sea in the 20th century, to power the sustainable energy future of the 21st century. Making a major contribution to the international fight against climate change – and creating huge economic opportunity here at home.”

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The First Minister said that independence was the answer, adding: “We need to grasp this opportunity ourselves – the opportunity of the green energy revolution, and the opportunity of taking decisions in Scotland, for Scotland, with independence.

“It’s clearer than ever that these issues now go hand in hand. Only independence gives us the power to drive forward the investment Scotland needs to meet its full potential.”