Boris Johnson is facing a potential Cabinet revolt after it emerged the government wants to make it easier to build onshore wind farms.
Planning controls are expected to be relaxed as part of the new energy security strategy due next week.
Yesterday Kwasi Kwarteng, the business secretary, confirmed ministers believe the UK needs a major ‘speed-up’ of onshore wind farms to cut bills and secure energy supplies following the crisis Ukrainian.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson (pictured at an offshore wind farm in 2021) could face resistance from his cabinet if he pushes the government to try to facilitate the construction of onshore wind farms
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng believes people’s attitude towards wind farms has changed and they are needed to improve energy supply
But the issue is likely to be contentious with the conservative base, many of whom do not want to see local residents’ ability to oppose wind farms quashed.
Eight of Mr Johnson’s cabinet ministers, including Priti Patel, Nadine Dorries, Nadhim Zahawi and Jacob Rees-Mogg, were among 101 Tory MPs who signed a letter to former Prime Minister David Cameron in 2012 calling on the government withdraw subsidies for farms and ensure that the planning system ‘takes due account of the views of local people’.
Mr Kwarteng said Britons had since changed their minds about wind farms.
Tory MP Bob Blackman said: ‘It would be a total disaster. It’s extremely unpopular, they’re ugly, and they don’t necessarily produce enough energy. I think if we start getting into energy supply, it should be fracking, not onshore wind.