Huhne given rough ride in Parliament over FITs

Under pressure energy secretary, Chris Huhne, was jeered as he battled through a tough session on solar subsidies in the House of Commons today (January 26).

There was a chorus of disapproval from the opposition Labour benches as Mr Huhne described the £66,000 spent so far by the Government fighting the legal case surrounding cuts to Feed-In Tariffs (FITs) as a ‘few thousand pounds’.

Mr Huhne, who was appearing in the house the day after losing an appeal over a judicial review into FITs, repeatedly blamed current Labour leader Ed Miliband for creating the problems when he was energy secretary.

North Tyneside Labour MP, Mary Glindon, raised the issue of the £66,000 cost as the first question Mr Huhne faced.

He replied: “It was a few thousand pounds to save consumers £1.5bn, which is what would have happened if we’d left this to run.

“There’s no way we could automatically reduce the tariff in the scheme introduced by the now leader of the opposition.”

The energy minister also praised the British Photovoltaic Assocation (BPVA) for its stance on the cuts, a move that would see Solarcentury quit the trade association later that day.

Mr Huhne, who was flanked by Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) deputies Greg Barker and Charles Hendry, was also asked when renewable funding would get back on an even footing.

He gave a lengthy reply again blaming Ed Miliband, who did not attend the session, for not setting a point to scale down FITs subsidy levels.

Mr Huhne was then warned by the speaker of the house for taking too long with his answers.

Mr Huhne’s full written statement on FITs is available here.

Luke Walsh

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