Tory rebels could block Rishi Sunak’s plan to delay the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in parliament
- The Prime Minister’s plans have provoked anger from some Conservative MPs
Rishi Sunak’s plan to delay the 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel cars could be blocked in parliament, it emerged yesterday.
The Prime Minister, who spent yesterday talking to agricultural apprentices in a field of sheep, indicated on Wednesday that the government believed it could avoid a parliamentary showdown over his plans to slow the rush to net zero.
But government sources yesterday confirmed that delaying the switch to electric cars by five years would, under the terms of Labour’s 2008 Climate Change Act, probably require approval in both the Commons and the Lords.
Mr Sunak’s plans have prompted anger from some Conservative MPs, including former Cop26 president Sir Alok Sharma and former net zero adviser Chris Skidmore, who refused to rule out submitting a letter of no confidence in Mr Sunak over the issue.
A vote would test the real strength of the opposition but Tory whips have told the PM that rebels within the party are limited to a few ‘outliers’.
The Prime Minister indicated on Wednesday that the government believed it could avoid a parliamentary showdown over his plans to slow the rush to net zero
Former Cop26 president Sir Alok Sharma refused to rule out submitting a letter of no confidence in Mr Sunak over the issue
Mr Sunak said he expected his plans to ‘command very broad support, not just in our party but in the country’.
But ministers could face a tougher challenge in the Lords, where the Government does not have a majority.
The Tory benches in the Lords contain a number of committed environmental campaigners who have criticised Mr Sunak’s plans, including former environment minister Zac Goldsmith and former climate change committee chairman Lord Deben.
After his visit to an agricultural college in Essex yesterday, the PM said: ‘I’ve been talking to [the apprentices] about the changes that I announced ensuring we’re going to deliver net zero but do so in a proportionate, pragmatic way that minimises the impact on working families, all while hitting what are world-leading targets.’
He added: ‘These changes are particularly important for our rural and farming communities who were facing huge costs and are the backbone of our local economies. I’m going to make the big decisions that are right for the long-term interests of our country.’
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