Osborne announces loyalty to energy policy

George Osborne has proclaimed his allegiance to the Government's energy policy today following accusations that the Chancellor is against renewable energy plans.

This week, Greenpeace released video footage that it claims suggests senior figures in the Government’s cabinet, including Osborne, are trying to undo their green commitments.

The secret footage showed MP Peter Lilley, recently appointed to the Climate Change Select Committee and director of an oil and gas company, saying Osborne was getting people into “key positions” who could get the Government “off the hook of the commitments it made very foolishly”.

According to Greenpeace, the key positions Lilley was referring to include newly appointed energy minister John Hayes and environment secretary Owen Paterson who are alleged opponents of wind power.

In addition to the footage of Lilley, the environmental group captured Lord Howell, a government energy advisor and Osborne’s father-in-law, saying that the Prime Minister is not familiar with and did not understand the issues around energy and that Osborne is putting pressure on Cameron.

The footage also suggests that the appointments of Hayes and Paterson have been to “undermine” and “discredit” the position of secretary of state for energy and climate change, and Liberal Democrat MP, Ed Davey.

Greenpeace also recorded Chris Heaton-Harris, campaign manager for the Tories in Corby, backing anti-wind farm candidate, James Delingpole, to join the election race against the Tories.

Today the Huffington Post reported a spokesperson for Osborne as saying: “The Chancellor supports Government energy policy which has helped secure record investment into the UK energy infrastructure.”

However, Friends of the Earth’s head of campaigns Andrew Pendleton said: “Until the Energy Bill is published we don’t know what Government energy policy is. But we do know the Chancellor is pushing for one that will keep the nation hooked on dirty and increasingly expensive gas for decades.

“The Prime Minister must take action to stop leading Conservatives like George Osborne from pursuing an anti-green agenda and undermining investor confidence in clean energy”.

Leigh Stringer

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