Thursday, December 1, 2022

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Boris Johnson and Liz Truss join the rebellion against the onshore wind ban

Boris Johnson and Liz Truss have joined a Tory backbench rebellion against a de facto ban on new onshore wind farms, dealing a blow to Rishi Sunak’s authority.

The former Prime Ministers signed an amendment to the Government’s Bill Leveling Up, introduced by Simon Clarke, who served as Minister in both governments, to allow for the development of onshore wind energy.

Mr Clarke said he was “delighted” to win their support.

It is the couple’s first major parliamentary intervention since they left Downing Street.

Ms Truss moved at No. 10 during her brief tenure to ease planning rules, but Mr Johnson made no attempt to lift the effective onshore wind moratorium in place since 2015, when he was in office.

Mr. Sunak was already facing a significant challenge regarding his own party’s planning policy.

The Prime Minister voted on Monday legislation targeting the construction of 300,000 homes a year after some 50 Tory MPs threatened rebellion.

Mr Clarke, a former Leveling Up Secretary, tweeted: “I welcome the support of @BorisJohnson and @trussliz, along with MPs from across the Conservative Party, for my amendment to allow onshore wind where (and only where) there is fellowship consent.

“A pro-growth, green policy at a time when we need both.”

Calls for the lifting of the ban on new onshore wind farms have risen amid efforts to secure the UK’s energy independence as the Russian invasion of Ukraine has squeezed supplies.

Sir Keir Starmer has vowed a Labor government would lift the planning ban as part of its plan to make Britain a clean energy superpower.

The Labor leader has called Mr Sunak’s refusal a “national act of self-harm that is stifling our economic potential”.

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