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
Arts and Entertainment
filmPoldark production team claims innocence of viewers' ab frenzy
Life and Style
Google marks the 81st anniversary of the Loch Ness Monster's most famous photograph
techIt's the 81st anniversary of THAT iconic photograph
News
Katie Hopkins makes a living out of courting controversy
people
News
General Election
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

Recruitment Genius: Office Administrator

£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Office Administrator is requ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - Commercial Vehicles - OTE £40,000

£12000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to expansion and growth of ...

Ashdown Group: Senior PHP Developer - Sheffield - £50,000

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Senior PHP Developer position with a...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Leader - Plasma Processing

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An Operations Leader is required to join a lea...

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders