Tuesday 23 February 2010

Possible Government upset

Lobbydog has learnt of frantic phone calls between ministers and backbench Labour rebels today.

A revolt is on the cards after the rebels teamed up with opposition parties in a bid to re-shape the Government’s Energy Bill – which will be voted on tomorrow.

The coalition wants an amendment passed that would give the secretary of state power to impose carbon emission limits on power stations.

The wording of the amendment agreed by the coalition was subject to last minute wrangling, but they finally hammered out a version last night. To see it click here and scroll to NC15.

If such carbon limits were imposed it would mean power companies having to invest heavily to make their stations greener.

In the phone calls ministers warned that if the amendment went through it would mean black-outs and power companies deserting the UK market.

But the rebels simply accused ministers of being wimpy and snivelling in front of the power firms.

A total of 35 Labour MPs need to vote for the regulation to push it through – assuming that the Tories and Lib Dems vote in force with them.

The problem is that it seems the Tories have only put a two line whip on the vote, meaning there may not be enough Conservative support to carry it through.

Should be an interesting watch.

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