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Coalition green tensions

Coalition green tensions
Coalition tensions over green energy surfaced today as Liberal Democrat and Tory ministers clashed over windfarm policy. As David Cameron insisted that he still led a 'green Government', Energy Secretary Ed Davey slapped down fellow minister John Hayes for suggesting 'enough is enough' on the number of onshore turbines across the country. It emerged that Mr Davey had vetoed a speech Mr Hayes was going to make on wind policy but his remarks surfaced in the Daily Mail.

A Lib Dem source told PoliticsHome: "“This may be the speech that John Hayes and the Tory Tea Party wanted but it wasn't even delivered because he was told not to."

This afternoon Downing Street appeared to back up John Hayes, with a spokesman saying he was "reflecting the concerns there are in some communities about onshore wind farms". He said the Government had ordered a call for evidence on wind farm construction to reflect this concern.

BIS minister Michael Fallon, a close ally of Mr Cameron, earlier stressed that decisions about new wind farms "have to be determined locally".

Speaking to the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph, Mr Hayes had said it was "extraordinary" that windfarms had been allowed to spread throughout the countryside, and revealed plans to commission a review of their impact on communities.

PoliticsHome revealed earlier that Mr Hayes had planned to make similar remarks in a speech last night, but had been told to remove them by Mr Davey.

Following Mr Hayes' comments, Mr Cameron was asked by Lib Dem MP Julian Huppert at Prime Minister's Questions today whether the Coalition would still be the "greenest government ever".

He held back from repeating his previous pledge, instead telling him: "This is indeed a very green government and it's sticking to its promises."

Mr Cameron added that he was anticipating a renewed debate about green energy.

"There's been no change towards renewable energy.... We've got a big pipeline of onshore and offshore wind projects that are coming through, we're committed to those. But, frankly, all parties are going to have to have a debate in this House and outside this House about what happens once those targets are met."

Catch up on all the PMQs action with our liveblog from earlier today.

Green Box: Coalition green tensionsClick to open

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