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Fewer 'greens' on the green benches

It is interesting to see two prominent Conservatives with ‘green’ credentials, Tim Yeo and Anne McIntosh, being deselected by their constituency parties - the first time this has happened to a sitting Tory MP for a decade.

Both incurred the displeasure of local party members for reasons other than their commitment to environmental matters but the waste sector should be sorry to see them leave Westminster (assuming would-be independent McIntosh fails to beat the official Tory candidate in Thirsk and Malton). 

The moves come only weeks after Laura Sandys, another green Tory, said it was time for her to stand down, again not for a ‘green’ reason. Yeo chairs the Commons energy committee while McIntosh heads the environment, food and rural affairs committee, and was profiled in our MRW’s Big Interview in April 2012.

Then, she told us she scored prime minister David Cameron “six or seven out of 10” for his efforts on building the UK’s ‘greenest Government’. It would be interesting to hear how she would rate him in 2014.

By coincidence, our latest Big Interview is with Labour’s shadow resource minister Barry Gardiner. He didn’t exactly take on his new role with a fanfare and, in fairness, a sizeable part of the conversation with Chiara Francavilla is about Labour’s desire to clear the policy decks and conduct a “zero policy review” before we all go to the polls next year.

A consequence is Gardiner’s claim that industry will be consulted, and we hope with more positive effect than that in evidence in Labour’s policy document in April 2013, Resource Security.

That eight-page document was distinctly small beer, so the sector will be looking for Gardiner to build on his comments to MRW in this issue, including those on boosting the Green Investment Bank and reforming PRNs.

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