No 10’s new energy adviser is a former British Gas lobbyist

Ministers are working furiously to complete the ambitious and important Energy Bill

David Cameron has appointed a former lobbyist for British Gas to be his personal advisor on energy and climate change.

Tara Singh, whose previous role as public affairs manager at British-Gas owner Centrica involved frequent contact with the Conservative Party, took up her newly-created role at Number 10 this week.

She is responsible for briefing the prime minister on a day-to-day basis on issues relating to energy and climate change.

This is a crucial role as the government works furiously to complete the Energy Bill, a hugely important and ambitious piece of legislation that will dictate the shape of the country's power infrastructure and will determine whether Britain's lights stay on.

Ms Singh is also likely to be heavily involved in the run-up to the crucial Paris climate change summit in 2015, where nearly 200 countries will attempt to reach a hugely challenging agreement to significantly cut their carbon emissions. Energy Minister Ed Davey has said he wants Britain to play a key role in agreeing a global settlement.

Ms Singh joined Centrica in July 2009, working there for nearly four years before joining the public relations firm Hill & Knowlton in January for a short stint.  The PR company represents the US defence giant Lockheed Martin, the RenewableUK trade association and Statoil, the Norwegian oil company raided by the European Commission last week on suspicion that it sought to inflate oil and petrol prices.

However, while her appointment raised eye-brows in some quarters, it was generally welcomed by people worried that the Tories are becoming increasingly sceptical about climate change.

One environmental campaigner said: “She is not a climate sceptic by any stretch of the imagination”.

Ms Singh's appointment comes in the thick of a period of turmoil in the government's energy and climate change teams that has been fuelled by policy tensions between the Treasury and the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC). This has resulted in the recent resignations of the top-level DECC civil servants who are among the key architects of the Energy Bill - head of strategy Ravi Gurumurthy and Jonathan Brearley, head of energy markets and networks. Ben Moxham, an advisor to Mr Cameron on energy and the environment has also quit, although Ms Singh is not thought to be a direct replacement for Mr Moxham because the prime minister is understood to be shuffling his climate change advisory team around.

George Eustice, the MP who recently complained that wind turbines are blighting the Cornish landscape but advocates marine power, was this month given the energy and climate change brief on Mr Cameron's new Conservative Parliamentary Advisory Board.

A Downing Street press officer confirmed Ms Singh's appointment but declined to give details about her role. 

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
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

Ashdown Group: Client Accountant Team Manager - Reading

Negotiable: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group has been engaged by a highly resp...

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: You will also work alongside their seasoned sa...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Property Manager

£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you looking for your first step into...

Recruitment Genius: Mechanical Design Engineer

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This innovative company working...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat