Tory MP refuses to rule out no confidence letter in Rishi Sunak after eco u-turn
Rishi Sunak grilled by activist over climate change
Senior Tory MP Chris Skidmore this evening refused to rule out submitting a letter of no confidence in Rishi Sunak.
Speaking on Newsnight this evening, Sir Chris said this is “potentially the greatest mistake of [Mr Sunak’s] premiership so far”.
Asked if he would submit a letter of no confidence, the Tory MP said he’d seen huge outrage in the Tory MP WhatsApp groups this evening, and “we have an opportunity now to think again before this speech is delivered”.
“If he is considering these measures, think again.”
A renewed Tory civil was sparked this evening, after shock news the PM is planning to water down key Net Zero pledges in order to create a dividing line between the Conservatives and Labour.
READ MORE: Rishi Sunak to delay ban on sale of petrol and diesel cars by five years
One pledge, to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030, is set to be delayed by five years, alongside a delay in the phasing out of gas boilers.
Energy efficiency targets in private rented homes will also be scrapped, and off-grid oil boiler bans will be delayed by nine years.
On Friday in a major speech, Mr Sunak will also vow not to announce any new taxes on flights, as well as rule out policies to change people’s diets, promote carpooling and new proposals around recycling.
The news was instantly welcomed by Net Zero-sceptic Tory MPs.
Ex-Cabinet minister Sir John Redwood has said delaying the green pledges is a “treble win” for Brits.
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He said: “What you do with the petrol and diesel ban is actually increase Co2 emissions because people will just import cars from other countries.
“It’s bad for the environment, bad for British industry and bad for families being thumped by the policies. So ditching it would be a treble win.
“We simply must not be punishing the wrong people with these policies.”
Chair of the Net Zero Scrutiny group of MPs told the Sun he is “pleased to see sensible pragmatism from the PM”.
“If reports of a delay to the rollout of unrealistic Net Zero measures are to be believed this is positive news for UK consumers.
“It will make previous pie in the sky ‘greenwash’ deadlines into something more achievable.
However many Tory MPs have also gone on the record to warn Mr Sunak off turning the environment into a party political issue, nor renege on commitments.
Former COP President Sir Alok Sharman ominously tweeted: “The UK has been a leader on climate change action but we cannot rest on our laurels.
“For any party to resile from this agenda will not help economically or electorally.”
Lord Goldsmith said “Sunak is dismantling [the UK’s] credibility, not by accident but by choice”.
“His short stint as PM will be remembered as the moment the UK turned its back on the world and on future generations. A moment of shame.”
Simon Clarke MP said his red wall constituents support the UK’s world leading climate efforts.
“We should be exceptionally careful of seeking to extract political advantage on this issue when the efforts of successive Prime Ministers – the majority of them Conservative – have been dedicated to upholding what Margaret Thatcher called a ‘full repairing lease’ on our planet.
“When the history of this period of Conservatives government is written, our leadership on climate issues will be one of our main achievements. We are fortunate to have a broad, non partisan consensus in the UK. How does it benefit either our country or our party to shatter it?”
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