The shadow chancellor says a future Labour government would back controversial plans to build a line of pylons carrying powerlines through the heart of the Suffolk countryside.

Rachel Reeves was speaking during a two-day trip to East Anglia during which she met business leaders from across Suffolk to discuss the region's challenges.

She met them at a reception at Ipswich's iconic Willis Towers Watson building where she appeared alongside the town's Labour candidate Jack Abbott.

But while she heard about the challenges and opportunities they faced, there were no immediate promises on the issues they have been most concerned about.

Business leaders have been calling for more public investment in infrastructure projects - particularly transport links including the A14 from Felixstowe to the Midlands.

In response Ms Reeves said: "All across the country, the Conservatives’ back of a fag packet plan promised extensions to roads that didn't exist, tram lines that had already been built and reannouncements of projects they promised a decade ago.

"Communities are sick and tired of the empty promises of this broken Conservative government.

"Labour has been clear that we will work with local leaders, mayors, businesses and unions to deliver a credible and transformative programme of rail and transport infrastructure investment to improve connectivity across the country.”

On energy, she criticised the current government for not having a plan to determine how green power should be distributed.

Visiting Norwich, she said a future Labour government would support the National Grid’s proposal for a 112-mile line from Dunston, near Norwich, to Tilbury on the Thames estuary, cutting through the Suffolk and Essex countryside, saying it was “time to get on with it”.

“There is a big opportunity for the UK to become the energy leaders of the future and we need to seize that. “We’ve got to crack on and build the energy infrastructure to heat our homes and get people’s bills down. Renewable energy is the cheapest energy form. “Investment is being held back due to a lack of grid connections and if we carry on like this we’ll find ourselves increasingly reliant on Putin and other dictators around the world for our basic energy needs."

She added: "An incoming Labour government will need to upgrade our grid in a joined up way.

"We recognise that community consent is vital to the long-term success of this, and that joined up approach will mean working with devolved, regional, and local governments to ensure that local communities have a say in the energy decisions that affect them."

On health, Ms Reeves said an incoming Labour government would tackle waiting lists by creating two million evening and weekend appointments paid for by abolishing non-dom tax status.

But she warned: "The scale of the problems in the NHS means it is not simply about investment, to make it fit for the future, we will reform the NHS so it prevents ill-health, is equipped with the latest technology, and provides more care closer to people’s homes."