Tim Yeo stands down as committee chairman following lobbying claims

Tim Yeo has agreed to temporarily step aside as chairman of the energy and climate change select committee following allegations that he offered to advise energy companies for cash.

In a video recording, the Conservative MP appeared to tell Sunday Times reporters, posing as representatives of a fabricated solar energy company, that he could help the company influence Parliament.

The tape, recorded by the reporters, appears to suggest that the MP had helped “coach” a solar energy company executive before the executive appeared before his parliamentary committee.

Denying the allegations, Yeo announced that he would temporarily step down as chairman during the investigation into the claims and to clear his name. His decision was partly influenced by increasing pressure from Labour MPs.

In a statement, Yeo said: “The whole recording would show the context of the conversation and demonstrate clearly that at no stage did I agree or offer to work for the fictitious company these undercover reporters claimed to be representing, still less did I commit to doing so for a day a month as the article claims.”

Yeo has voiced strong opinions over the Government’s slow progress of energy policy in the UK and has continuously questioned the Government’s plans on renewable energy.

Earlier in the year, Yeo hit out over the extensive period of time it took for the Government to release the draft Energy Bill and the conflict within Government and between the Treasury on energy policy.

“The Energy Bill had a gestation period comparable to the pregnancy of an elephant but with rather more disappointing conclusions” he said.

Last week, controversial UKIP leader Nigel Farage slammed Yeo, saying he was not the right person for the job.

“How can a man that is earning £145,000 a year under the renewable energy industry, chair a committee in parliament? Can someone explain that to me?,” he said.

Leigh Stringer

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