Newly re-appointed shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn has come out in support of the solar industry in the face of sweeping subsidy cuts as the party readies itself for tomorrow’s energy and climate change oral and topical question session.

The Leeds Central MP and former environment secretary published an open letter this week sharing the industry’s concerns regarding a proposed 87% cut to the feed-in tariff and accused the current Conservative government of undermining solar.

“While I appreciate that renewables should move towards being free of subsidy, the Feed-in tariff should have been reduced more gradually. I therefore believe that the speed and scale of the Coalition Government’s cuts during the last Parliament and the very significant cuts being proposed by the current Government are likely to cost jobs and investment in the green economy,” Benn said.

He also referenced the diminishing attractiveness for renewable energy investment in the UK and claimed the country had now fallen behind the likes of France, India and Japan for potential investors. The subject has also been raised by the Committee on Climate Change this week after the government’s advisory body warned of “major risks” to investment caused by the cuts.

Benn concluded by noting the commitment Labour’s shadow frontbench had made to work with the solar industry and added that she hoped the current government would listen to its concerns.

Benn’s support was published days before Labour’s first chance to quiz energy secretary Amber Rudd since both Jeremy Corbyn’s election and the highly contentious feed-in tariff proposals were published.

Wigan MP Lisa Nandy was given the position of shadow energy secretary on Monday as the newly elected Labour leader finalised his frontbench, however it is not yet clear whether Nandy will be present tomorrow as she remains on maternity leave. Her predecessor Caroline Flint would be an obvious choice to fill in given her experience in the role and stated commitment to continue to support the party from the backbenches.