The website of our MP Mel Stride says: ‘Mel Stride is known for his work on climate change and helping steer legislation through parliament on emissions targets.’ 

We now know exactly what this means: since Mel Stride has been sitting in Cabinet the Government has approved a new coal mine in Cumbria and granted hundreds of new oil and gas licences in the North Sea. Former Tory environment minister and ex-chair of the independent Climate Change Committee, Lord Deben, has been scathing about these, saying they were ‘utterly unacceptable’.

Now Mel Stride has agreed the watering down in gaols to Net-Zero which Rishi Sunak has proposed. Chris Skidmore, who was Tory Minister for Energy and the Government’s net zero tsar, has warned that these proposals will be ‘the greatest mistake’ of Sunak’s premiership. 

He said it will ‘condemn the UK to miss out on what can be the opportunity of the decade to deliver jobs and future prosperity’. Tory peer and ex-Minister for Environment Zac Goldsmith has said Sunak’s ‘short stint as PM will be remembered as the moment the UK turned its back on future generations’.

It seems bosses of major car manufacturers have now bombarded Downing Street with calls threatening to withdraw billions of pounds of investment over the delay to the 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel cars. Ford, Jaguar Land Rover, Mini’s parent company BMW, Nissan and Vauxhall have all told the Prime Minister that delaying the ban until 2035 would risk thousands of jobs in the UK motor industry as carmakers look elsewhere to invest in electric vehicles.

These latest proposals represent cheap political expediency: a willingness to sacrifice both British industry and our own, our children’s and our grandchildren’s futures for the sake of the sordid grasping at a few votes. It should be called out for what it is: shameful.

Mike Baldwin