Downing Street deny energy U-turn after claims Cameron wants to 'get rid of all the green crap'

Number 10 say they 'do not recognise' phrase attributed to David Cameron 

Downing Street has denied that David Cameron is dropping his environmental commitments, after an article said the Prime Minister had instructed his aides to “get rid of all the green crap” in relation to green levies.

A report by The Sun newspaper claimed Mr Cameron was making a major U-turn on environmental issues, and ordering aides to remove green levies which push up energy bills.

Referencing the environmental levies placed on fuel bills, the paper quoted an unnamed senior Tory source as saying: “The Prime Minister is going round Number 10 saying 'We have got to get rid of all this green crap'. He is totally focused on it.

“We used to say 'Vote Blue, Go Green', now it's 'Vote Blue, Get Real'.”

But a senior Downing Street source said they “do not recognise this phrase that they [The Sun] are using on their front page.”

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg today argued the reported comments by the Prime Minister did not reflect Mr Cameron's views, adding "it isn't all crap" as he stressed the importance of the levies.

Speaking on LBC radio, Mr Clegg said: "It is worth remembering that a lot of the policies that we have got support tens of thousands of people who work in the booming green energy sector, actually keep bills down in the long run because if you don't insulate people's homes today they are going to be spending more on their gas and electricity bills in the future heating their homes.

"Crucially some of these policies are there to help the most vulnerable."

"The Prime Minister and I, funnily enough, were discussing it just yesterday so it so happens I don't think that's a fair reflection of his views.

"We both want to see policies, where we are control of them in government, made as cost-effective as possible without cutting our commitment to reducing carbon commitments and looking after the environment."

The alleged comments come after Mr Cameron attempted to highlight his commitment to the environment ahead of the 2010 general election with a trip to the Arctic Circle to view the impact of global warming, where he was pictured riding with huskies through the snow and told voters they could “Vote Blue, Go Green”.

He has regularly stated his determination to lead the “greenest government ever”. In a four minute speech at the Department of Energy and Climate Change in May 2010, he pledged a “new way of doing climate change”, asserting that “nowhere are long-term decisions more needed than actually in the fields of energy and climate change and environment."

He added: “We've got a real opportunity to drive the green economy to have green jobs, green jobs and make sure we have our share of the industries of the future."  

But last month he told the House of Commons he wanted to “roll back” the green levies which add an average £112 a year to households' energy bills to fund renewable power subsidies and programmes to insulate homes.

Downing Street said this did not mean the PM had abandoned his commitment to the environment.

“He has been quite clear about rolling back the impact of levies on energy bills, but only last week in Sri Lanka he was talking about the importance of tackling climate change,” a Number 10 source said.

Mr Cameron also used a recent trip to Sri Lanka visit to stress he believed the evidence of global warming was “growing” and thought it right to take “preventative and mitigating steps” to combat it.

Responding to speculation that man-made climate change could have been responsible for the devastating typhoon in the Philippines, the PM said then: “I'll leave the scientists to speak for themselves about the link between severe weather events and climate change.

"But the evidence seems to me to be growing. As a practical politician, I think the sensible thing is to say let's take preventative and mitigating steps given the chances this might be the case.“

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
news
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
New Articles
tvChristmas special reviewed
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
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
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
Sport
sport
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

Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwickshire

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketing Controller (Financial Services)

£70000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketi...

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all