Tony Blair has come under a double attack from his allies for the way he introduced nuclear power to the political agenda. He was told that his announcement had aroused suspicions that there is a "secret agenda" behind government policy.
One of the critics was the former environment secretary Stephen Byers, normally seen as a Blairite, who warned yesterday that the Government will now find it very difficult to achieve general agreement on where Britain should turn for its future energy supplies. Mr Byers said: "There are decisions being taken that some people believe prove there is a hidden agenda."
His remarks were echoed by Sir Jonathon Porritt, the Government's leading adviser on alternative energy sources, who told a committee of MPs that Mr Blair's announcement was "not clever".
The Prime Minister told industrialists this month that civil nuclear power was back on the agenda "with a vengeance". This was taken as a sign that he has already decided on the outcome of a major government review of future energy supplies, although the review is not complete.