Tories in open civil war as Boris urged to abandon key policy pledge immediately


In October, the Tory Government revealed wide-ranging plans to reduce emissions significantly by 2035 and take the country towards being a zero-carbon economy by 2050. This would be helped through the production of more electric cars, planting trees and a gradual shift away from gas-powered central heating. But Mr Johnson immediately came under huge pressure from his own MPs who raised serious doubts over the economic arguments in favour of what they consider to be an over-reliance on renewable energy sources.

Several others were worried about the rising cost to UK households, particularly those on lower incomes, and how this might impact their chances at any upcoming elections.

Last weekend, it was reported up to 20 Conservative MPs – including former Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey and senior MPs Robert Halfon and Steve Baker – called on Mr Johnson to tackle the cost of living.

Five ex-ministers were among those who wrote to the Sunday Telegraph arguing a cut in environmental levies and the removal of energy taxes.

This comes following a huge increase in wholesale gas prices towards the end of 2021, with experts warning average bills could surge to £2,000 this year.

Now in an address to the Bow Group think tank, senior Bow Group patron and Tory MP for Wokingham, Sir John Redwood, said: “The government should not demolish any power stations as long as issues over security of supply remain.

“Thank goodness we had those coal power stations left in the dying months of last year that kept us going – do not knock them down.

“We need to be realistic, we are going to have less nuclear power in 2030 than we do today, we need affordable power, we need available power, we need to trust our own sources more and import less, we cannot rely on imports.

“We are blessed with access to a lot of oil and gas. It is greener as well as more reliable to have our own sources of energy, rather than importing it, and relying only on the goodwill of foreigners.

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The Resolution Foundation think tank predicted the increase in National Insurance contributions from April, alongside an expected rise in energy bills in the same month, could amount to an average £1,200 hit to household finances.

Bow Group Chairman Ben Harris-Quinney warned: “The Government’s proposed green net zero agenda will be the most expensive policy in history.

“It will cost not billions, but trillions, it will have a devastating effect on our economy and no discernable effect on the global climate.

“We are likely to see energy costs rising by 100 percent over the course of two years, and further inflation every year hence.

“Aside from massive government spending and tax rises, the cost of living for everyone will skyrocket, and the days of affordable travel, holidays, and even heating, will end.

He added: “The green agenda is dangerous, not only as a threat to our economy and our livelihood, but also our national security.

“We therefore strongly oppose the Government’s net-zero policy and believe it will become increasingly unpopular with the public as costs and restrictions increase.

“The Government promised in its 2019 manifesto to cut energy costs, yet it has only taken actions to see them rise.

“The Government has not properly consulted the public on its agenda, and has not published the eye-watering costs, to the country and to each individual, of net-zero.”


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