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Chancellor gives his backing to nuclear power stations

The Chancellor George Osborne dismissed the idea that there would be no new nuclear power stations built under the current government.

In his speech to the Conservative Party conference he said: “Should we, the country that built the first civil nuclear power station, say: ‘we are never going to build any more – leave it to others?’ Not on my watch.”

Building of the next nuclear power station has been beset by delays as the government and energy firm EDF negotiate a guaranteed price for the electricity it produces.

Mr Osborne also said the country “absolutely should not” turn its back on shale gas.

He also gave his backing to HS2 saying “we will complete this great work of engineering in the best tradition of our country”.

He also said there were people “in the richest parts of London” who opposed Help to Buy by referring to falling house prices and working couples living with their parents in a series of Lancashire towns.

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin lent his support to High Speed 2 once again. He pledged to “squeeze every penny of economic benefit out of the line and cut down on costs”.

Climate change minister Greg Barker also supported fracking, following a visit last week to a shale gas site in Pennsylvania,  saying: “Globally, a shift from coal to gas could have a significant positive impact in the fight against dangerous climate change. Here in the UK it offers greater energy security and the potential to drive our economy forward.”

Defence secretary Philip Hammond announced a £200m Help to Buy scheme for armed forces personnel offering interest free loans worth up to half of salaries for first time buyers to use as a deposit on a home.

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