Johnson stresses energy security in last policy speech as PM 

The outgoing Prime Minister of Britain, Boris Johnson, gave his final major policy speech as PM on Thursday.

 What did he say? 

As part of activities in his last days in office, Johnson announced the commitment of £700m ($810m) of government funding towards a new nuclear power plant as part of efforts to improve the United Kingdom’s energy security. Explaining the need for more nuclear generation capacity, Johnson cited the spike in global gas prices that resulted from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “Yes, nuclear always looks relatively expensive to build and to run.  But look at what’s happening today, look at the results of Putin’s war. It is certainly cheap by comparison with hydrocarbons today”, he said, on the cost of the project, which will reportedly cost about £20b ($23b). 

Who is succeeding him as PM? 

Johnson’s successor is yet to be announced, after a contest that saw more than six candidates reduced to two – Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and former Treasury chief Rishi Sunak. The timing of the announcement of the planned nuclear power plant, called Sizewell C, is even more significant as the new PM is expected to initiate urgent measures to help ease the financial burden of millions of people struggling with rising household energy prices that are projected to go up by 80% from October. Johnson will finally leave office on Tuesday, and hand over to one of the two finalists in the Conservative Party’s leadership race. 

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