Anti-green talk will cost seats, PM warned

Lib Dems will reap credit for environmentalist policies, 'Turquoise Tories' tell Cameron

David Cameron has been personally warned by a group of his MPs that he risks losing seats to the Liberal Democrats at the next election unless he takes on anti-environmental "dog whistling" from Tory ministers.

A group of 12 "Turquoise Tories" met the Prime Minister in Downing Street last week to express their concerns that some ministers, including the Environment Secretary Owen Paterson and the Energy Minister John Hayes, are killing off the Conservatives' green agenda with anti-wind farm rhetoric and allowing Nick Clegg's party to take the credit for coalition environmentalism.

The latest salvo in the coalition's battle over the environment came yesterday when Mr Paterson told a newspaper that wind turbines were "inappropriate technology which matured in the Middle Ages" and were "doing real damage" to areas of British countryside.

The Prime Minister attempted to stave off a "Turquoise rebellion" by asking the group to put forward new ideas on renewable energy and other environmental measures for Mr Cameron to push in the New Year.

The 12 included Tim Yeo, the chairman of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee, Ben Gummer and Laura Sandys, a ministerial aide to the Climate Change Minister Greg Barker. A number of MPs also attended who are not known for their pro-green stance but are thought to be concerned about the Government missing out on investment in the low carbon economy. They included Gordon Henderson, Andrew Percy and Peter Aldous. Nicola Blackwood, who was not present at the meeting but is also understood to have concerns, has a 176-vote majority over the Lib Dems in Oxford West and Abingdon.

A source said: "There are concerns that the whole green agenda is being contracted to the Lib Dems, that we are failing to carve out a distinct Tory agenda on green issues and that we have gone back on our manifesto pledges. It's important that we stick to our green guns."

Yet any attempt by the Prime Minister to renew his pledge to "vote blue, go green" will be met with scepticism among environmentalists. He recently blocked the appointment of David Kennedy, the chief executive of the government's Climate Change Committee, as permanent secretary at the Department for Energy and Climate Change. Last week, Mr Osborne gave the go-ahead for tax breaks for shale gas extraction.

The Government's Gas Strategy, published last week, reveals plans to dismantle the government's future climate change targets. The document suggests ministers are planning to revise upwards the fourth carbon budget, agreed in 2011, which sets out targets for carbon emissions between 2023 and 2027.

At the same time, the Office for Budget Responsibility has warned that energy prices will continue to rise, sending gas and electricity bills soaring. Labour's Energy spokeswoman, Caroline Flint, said: "With warnings of more price hikes to come, it's clearer than ever why we need to break the dominance of the energy giants, open up the energy market and create a tough new energy regulator with the power to force energy companies to pass on savings to consumers."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
Courtney Love has admitted using heroin while pregnant with Frances Bean Cobain, her daughter with Kurt Cobain
people
Sport
Murray celebrates reaching the final
tennis
Arts and Entertainment
'The Archers' has an audience of about five million
radioA growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Construction Solicitor - City

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: NON-CONTENTIOUS (0-2 PQE) - A rare opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Financial Analyst

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Financial Analyst is required to join...

Recruitment Genius: Business Support Administrator - Part Time

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the South West'...

Recruitment Genius: Secretary

£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This major European Intellectual Propert...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness