Labour’s shadow energy secretary Lisa Nandy has labelled the Conservative Party’s energy policy a “national scandal” whilst unveiling plans to “democratise” the UK energy supply with community renewable energy plants.

Nandy, who was only named as Caroline Flint’s successor earlier this month, delivered a highly-charged speech this morning at Labour’s party conference in Brighton during which she heralded energy as the “backbone” of the UK economy.

She went on to label the transition to clean energy as “one of the biggest challenges this country has ever faced” and accused ministers of failing the UK and “trashing our historic legacy of international leadership” on climate change.

“Under David Cameron, Britain’s influence abroad has diminished quicker than at any period in living memory. It’s left us relegated to the margins of the global conversation, while others set the agenda and the pace,” she said.

Nandy also drew parallels from current targets in China and India to derive substantial percentages of their electricity demand from renewable sources – solar in particular – and slammed George Osborne’s insistence that the UK’s economic future lies with such countries whilst simultaneously “turning his back on our own wind and solar industries”.

She accused Osborne of pulling the rug out from under the UK’s solar industry just as it is “on the cusp” of grid parity and “pandering to his backbenchers even when skilled British jobs are on the line”.

“The Tories’ energy policy isn’t just putting the security of household budgets at risk, but our economic security too,” Nandy added.

The Labour Party has been an advocate of renewable energy and Jeremy Corbyn, elected as the party’s new leader earlier this month, has previously spoken of his desire for a more decentralised energy infrastructure in the UK with a particular emphasis on solar rooftops, a notion which tallies with National Grid CEO Steve Holliday vision of the country’s future energy market.

Nandy embellished on Corbyn’s comments by unveiling plans to “do something far more radical” than nationalising energy infrastructure – as has been a rumoured policy since Corbyn emerged as favourite for the party leadership – and instead “democratise it”.

“There should be nothing to stop every community in this country owning its own clean energy power station.

“Across the country schools are already taking the initiative and going solar. Generating power and heat for their own use.

“With the right support, community-based energy companies and cooperatives could be a new powerhouse, and a path to a more secure energy future,” Nandy said.

Nandy added that she wanted to work alongside local government to push for a “clean energy boom” in the UK’s cities before concluding that the overall aim would be to deliver “secure, affordable, energy, designed, built and owned by the people of our country”.