Former Conservative energy minister resigns from party, backs Labor leader

A former Conservative minister has attacked his own party, praising Labor’s “cold, fact-based and competent political leadership” and praising leader Kiel Sturmer’s green energy ambitions.

Claire Perry O’Neill served as UK minister for energy and clean growth in Theresa May’s cabinet before leading the UK’s Cop26 team until leaving politics in 2020. not”

She also described the Conservative Party as “a party dominated by ideology and self-obsession”.

O’Neal wrote the article The Times of London On Monday, focusing on the energy sector, climate change policy and the EU, she said her former political party’s “gradualism and ideology” meant that “our world-class nuclear power could provide much of our baseload power demand.” It has hollowed out the energy industry.”

Epoch Times photo
Labor MPs, mostly wearing face masks, sit behind leader Keir Sturmer during a debate in the House of Commons on August 18, 2021. (Congress Television)

“Top Energy”

“As one of Britain’s longest serving energy ministers, I want to commend Kiel Sturmer and the Labor Party for putting energy at the top of the proposed new government’s inbox,” she said.

“My former party’s often nonchalant approach to business and academia, combined with its reluctance to engage strategically with its post-Brexit European neighbors, combined with its ability to provide the needed energy system and domestic and The ability to fully reset international relations has been compromised, and there is an urgent need for calm and competent cooperation,” she added.

A nine-year MP, she resigned after the 2019 general election, but was expected to lead the UK’s preparations for the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.

O’Neill was tasked with leading the British effort upon the arrival of former Prime Minister Boris Johnson at Number 10. However, she was fired in February 2020 Replaced by Alok Sharma.

change of allegiance

The former politician highlighted Labor’s “industry support for key green technologies” and a “National Low Carbon Wealth Fund”, calling the idea “inspiring”.

“Building a low-carbon, safe and affordable energy system for the UK is a huge challenge that requires calm, fact-based and competent political leadership. If I win the election, I think that’s exactly what I’ll get,” she added.

Perry campaigned for the UK to remain in the EU in the 2016 membership referendum.

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UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson greets French President Emmanuel Macron as he arrives to attend the COP26 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland on November 1, 2021. (Christopher Furlong/pool/AFP via Getty Images)

Poll expert Sir John Curtis told the Epoch Times that beyond the “limited circle of ardent Conservative and Labor MPs”, O’Neill’s comments would not have much impact on the general election. He said he believed

Curtice is well known for his professional research and polling methods on electoral behavior.

He said that despite being a very widely respected figure within the House, O’Neill lacked recognition and did not make a broad impression on the public.

Curtis said she doesn’t think her change of allegiance will make much of a difference to voters.

hard work to turn things around

Curtis said last month that Labor was “in its strongest position for over a decade”.

In December, Prime Minister Rishisinak launched his first campaign when Labor held a by-election for the City of Chester constituency with 13.76% of the vote against the Conservatives. Labor then held Stretford and Armston in the by-election with 10.5% of the vote.

“Essentially, the conclusions sum up these two by-elections and are consistent with the poll’s message that Labor is actually in a stronger position than at any stage since 2010,” Curtice said. said.

“But note that the phrase ‘matches’ is not ‘prove it,'” he added.

“They are facing a very difficult economic situation,” he said.

He said the positive side that the Tories have is that Sunak has personally spoken with Labor leader Keir Starmer about who is the best man for the economy because of the prime minister’s record as prime minister. He added that it was still a matter of competition.

“There is a huge gap between people’s perception of Sunak and their party’s perception. It’s going to be a very difficult task,” Curtis said.

The Epoch Times reached out to the Conservative Party for comment.

PA Media contributed to this report.

Owen Evans

Owen Evans is a UK-based journalist with a particular interest in civil liberties and free speech, covering stories from a wide variety of countries.