Labour leader Keir Starmer detailed his recent trip to Stevenage in an emotional monologue on BBC Breakfast this morning (April 1).

The leader of the opposition branded the government's spring statement as "pathetic" amid rising energy bills.

Keir Starmer visited Stevenage last Monday (March 21), when he spoke with pensioners and local business owners about their political concerns.

He said: "Last week, I was in Stevenage with some pensioners and other people, and I had three descriptions that really brought it home on a human level to me.

"(I) had someone they're keeping the temperature at 12 degrees in their home. (I) had someone else saying that they used sleeping blankets, sleeping bags and blankets to sit in.

%image(15611813, type="article-full", alt="The Labour leader has branded the government's spring statement as "pathetic".")

"And then one person said to me, 'I don't get up now until midday. I stay in bed for as long as I possibly can because I'm so worried about the heating bills'.

"That is the level of anxiety and stress that people are experiencing with energy bills going up, you know, a sort of record amount - the highest they've gone since records are actually kept on this.

"That is a very real worry.

%image(15611815, type="article-full", alt="Keir Starmer detailed conversations that he had with Stevenage locals about the rising cost of living.")

"In a situation like that, I think people say 'Well, I want my government to help me here'.

"I need to know that they get it, they understand what the issue is, and there is a response to it from the government.

"What we saw from the government in the spring statement from the Chancellor was just pathetic, because it was a non-response when people really needed it.

%image(15611817, type="article-full", alt="The leader of the opposition explained Labour's solution to the cost of living crisis.")

"What we've said, as the Labour Party, is we need a practical plan to deal with this that will actually reduce energy prices.

"So we've said, if you were to tax the oil and gas companies in the North Sea, who've made more profit than they expected because the global prices are so high, you could use that windfall tax, to reduce the energy bills by up to £600 for those that need it most."