Labour's Ed Miliband made a surprise visit to Hitchin last week, as he affirmed the party's pledge to cut energy bills for businesses.

Labour's Shadow Climate and Net Zero Secretary, joined parliamentary candidate for the new Hitchin constituency, Alistair Strathern, on a visit to local businesses in the town centre.

"It was fantastic to welcome Ed Miliband to Hitchin, to talk about what Labour will do to cut energy bills for small businesses," said Mr Strathern.

"In the last 14 years, small businesses in our towns and villages have suffered from the impact of rising energy bills and economic instability. Rising costs have threatened their ability to stay afloat.

Ed Miliband during his Hitchin visit.Ed Miliband during his Hitchin visit. (Image: Kieran Maxwell)

"Businesses here in Hitchin, and across our towns and villages, are crying out for change. That's why if I am lucky enough to be re-elected here, I will work to drive down energy prices, stamp out late payments and reform our business rates so our high streets can thrive again."

Labour are pledging to set up Great British Energy, a publicly-owned clean power company, to cut bills for good and boost energy security, paid for by a proper, time-limited windfall tax on oil and gas giants. 

The party hopes that this new policy will help businesses in towns and villages like Hitchin by bringing down energy costs - which have more than doubled from they were at the start of 2021.

Labour has pledged to create Great British Energy, a publicly-owned clean power company, to cut bills.Labour has pledged to create Great British Energy, a publicly-owned clean power company, to cut bills. (Image: Kieran Maxwell)

"Britain's small businesses have been hit hard by rising energy prices because the Tories have left us exposed to energy markets controlled by dictators like Putin," said Mr Miliband.

"It's time for change. That's why Labour will set up GB Energy, a new publicly owned clean power company that will help make Britain energy secure. Our 2030 plan will cut bills for small businesses in places like Hitchin for good, and boost energy security.

"This is the most important climate election in our history and we face a massive choice: a Conservative government that is climate delaying and flirting with climate denial, or we have the Labour Party with a big, bold, world-leading agenda to tackle the climate crisis."

The General Election will take place on July 4, with Mr Strathern standing for the Labour party. Bim Afolami is standing for re-election as the Conservative candidate, while Chris Lucas is the Liberal Democrat candidate.

Charles Bunker is standing for Reform UK, William Lavin for the Green Party, and Sid Cordle for the Christian People's Alliance.