Former Grimsby MP Melanie Onn has stepped down from a senior green energy role, to free her up for a long-run at a campaign to win back the town seat.
The deputy chief executive of trade body RenewableUK will leave the post at the end of March. It would see her avoid any potential conflict of interest, with lobbying the government of the day a key element of the role she has carried out for the past three years.
Ms Onn, who represented Grimsby on a Labour ticket between 2015 and 2019, was ousted in the tidal wave of support for Boris Johnson that brought the ‘red wall’ of the north down in dramatic fashion.
Read more: MP upbeat on emerging policy framework to support Humber's grand decarbonisation plans
Current MP Lia Nici romped in with 18,150 votes to her 10,819, with many blaming then party leader Jeremy Corbyn and Labour’s Brexit stance on the 16.7 per cent drop in support with a significant swing to Conservative. .
Ms Onn has confirmed her intentions with the local constituency selection process underway. She had frequently not ruled out a return to the running for the seat she won when the late Austin Mitchell stepped down.
She posed for pictures with Sir Keir Starmer under the Dock Tower on his most recent visit, complete with red blazer, with her potential new boss having told how he’d “definitely” welcome her back.
January 2025 could see the country back at the polls, or earlier should two thirds of MPs agree to a general election.
In a statement released on Friday, Ms Onn said: “I’m incredibly proud of the significant impact RenewableUK has had in driving forward policies to deliver net zero. This has been an incredibly exciting time to be part of the renewables industry and I have loved working with this enthusiastic and committed team, who I know will continue to do great things for the sector. My thanks to the team and RenewableUK members for their kindness and support over the past three years, it’s been a privilege and an education to represent the sector.
“I will miss everyone very much but hopefully I will have plenty of opportunity in the future to work with RenewableUK and its members again.”
Named Humber Renewables Champion at the Humber Renewables Awards in June last year, Ms Onn had started at RenewableUK just weeks before Covid hit.
She helped RenewableUK navigate the challenges the pandemic through up, working with Government and industry to identify and resolve risks to vital activity during lockdown.
Drawing on her experience of how renewables investment created new opportunities and economic activity in her home town, she led a number of initiatives designed to shape the social and economic impact of the energy transition. She worked with RenewableUK’s board and members to develop an industry-leading Just Transition Tracker framework which sets out the sector’s commitment to supporting people and places in the switch to clean energy.
She has also acted in the Offshore Wind Industry Council’s Investment in Talent workstream leading work to develop the sector’s workforce and skills. Under her leadership, OWIC produced the first annual Skills Intelligence Report setting out workforce growth in the years ahead as well as new targets and best practice guidance to build a workforce that better represents our society.
RenewableUK chief executive Dan McGrail said: “I want to thank Mel for her fantastic work on behalf of RenewableUK members and her championing of our industry and what it can offer to individuals and communities in all parts of the UK. Mel has embodied the values of diversity, inclusivity and leadership that we need in the transition to net zero. Above all, she has been a supportive friend and colleague and brings a spirit of optimism and positivity which is infectious. “The board and I wish Mel every success in the next steps of her career.”
Onshore wind pledge from Sir Keir Starmer as offshore needs heard at Grimsby operations epicentre
Prax unveils £300m carbon capture plan for Lindsey Oil Refinery
CBI Humber director on greenshoring, government support and aims for pioneering Net Zero cluster
UK fishing fleet backed by Orsted to help clean up North Sea marine litter
All your Humber business news in one place - bookmark it now