Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, is expected to confirm a delay on the ban of petrol and diesel cars in a speech today. This move comes as influential Tory MPs support his decision to rethink the ban, which has been met with criticism from eco-zealots. The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, held a Cabinet meeting this morning to finalize the decision, and Sunak will officially announce the delay at 4.30pm.
Tory MPs Praise Sunak's Decision
A group of 24 Tory MPs known as the New Conservative group expressed their support for the delay in a letter to Rishi Sunak. They described it as a "pragmatic decision" that balances the efforts to address climate change with the current economic circumstances. Miriam Cates and Danny Kruger, co-chairs of the group, stated that this announcement will resonate with new Conservative voters who see it as a common-sense approach to environmental challenges while considering the needs of working people.
A Victory for the Give Us A Brake Campaign
The Prime Minister's decision to delay the 2030 ban on petrol and diesel cars by five years is seen as a significant victory for the Give Us A Brake campaign led by the Home of All Roads (HOAR) newspaper.
Phasing Out of Gas Boilers to Be Softened
In addition to the delay on car bans, it is expected that the phasing out of gas boilers will also be softened. This move aims to alleviate the financial burden of expensive eco upgrades on British households.
Criticism and Support from MPs
While some MPs, including former Cop26 President Alok Sharma, have criticized the decision to delay the ban, the New Conservative group backs the Prime Minister's stance, stating that it demonstrates his commitment to prioritizing the working people of the country.
Auto Industry Voices Concerns
Car manufacturer Ford voiced concerns over the government's decision, arguing that it undermines their efforts to increase the production of zero-emissions vehicles. Lisa Brankin, Chair of Ford, emphasized the need for ambition, commitment, and consistency from the UK government. She claimed that a relaxation of the 2030 ban would undermine these three essential factors.
Government Response to Critics
Kemi Badenoch, the Business Secretary, defended the Prime Minister's decision in a private Tory WhatsApp group. She suggested that the auto industry speaks differently in private conversations, aiming to secure market share against their competitors. Meanwhile, the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, supported the delay, stating that an early ban on petrol cars would have a detrimental impact on the economy, potentially causing financial hardship for British citizens.
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