Boris Johnson is facing a backbench rebellion after blocking a tidal power scheme while sanctioning Chinese involvement in the UK’s nuclear power programme. A group of 25 Tory MPs, led by former Ministers Paul Maynard and Iain Duncan Smith, are lobbying Business Secretary Alok Sharma to override officials who are preventing a proposed £1.3 billion tidal lagoon in Swansea Bay from going ahead. Mr Duncan Smith said the green energy plan was the sort of ‘shovel ready’ project which could boost the economy in the wake of the coronavirus epidemic. Work could begin within months on the lagoon, which would provide enough power for 155,000 homes. The issue was raised during a heated Zoom conference call last week between Mr Duncan Smith and Welsh Office Minister David Davies, during which Mr Davies argued that the project did not offer value for money for taxpayers. The MPs say that if the project paved the way for six tidal lagoons around the UK, it would create more than 70,000 jobs. They accuse the Civil Service establishment of wrecking the plan. Rebel MPs are angered that ministers are neglecting such British projects, yet allowing partnerships with China’s state-backed nuclear giant on environmentally-damaging new power plants including £22billion Hinkley Point C in Somerset – despite security fears from Washington. Dozens of Tories are also fuming over plans to allow Chinese firm Huawei to help build the UK’s new 5G network.
Daily Mail 21st June 2020 read more »