Ill Winds for David Cameron?

Politicians react to the Government's announcement on onshore wind subsidy

After the fanfare of a big policy announcement, cometh the scrutiny. Yesterday’s move by Energy Secretary Amber Rudd to scrap new subsidy for onshore wind has pleased Conservative backbench MPs, but prompted a flurry of questions and criticisms from across the rest of the political spectrum. There has also been confusion over when the Government intends to consult on the move.

Nowhere more has the decision to axe subsidy for onshore been poorly received than in Scotland, with SNP politicians queuing up to attack Rudd’s announcement. Among them was new SNP Chair of the Energy Select Committee Angus MacNeil, who blasted the lack of consultation with industry and promised tough scrutiny of the policy. That sets him on course for a showdown with the Tory MPs likely to have a majority on his panel.

MacNeil’s salvo on onshore came as he was formally confirmed in his new post following elections to committee chairmanships. Among those roles which were contested, ex-Shadow Industry Minister Iain Wright becomes head of the Business Select Committee and his Labour colleague Meg Hillier takes the chair on the powerful Public Accounts Committee. Members of the committees will be nominated in the coming weeks, with most panels expected to begin their work by the end of July. 


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