Friday, December 30, 2005

Labour MPs plan rebellion over nuclear power - Labour MPs plan rebellion over nuclear power

The government is set to face another backbench rebellion if it tries to push through moves to build a new generation of power stations.

Rebel Labour MPs are organising to stop what they claim would be a massively expensive and unsafe answer to the country's future energy needs.

The prime minister announced an energy review in the autumn which is thought to be positive about the nuclear option.

Former minister Alan Whitehead is leading the internal opposition, adopting the same tactic as the backbench opponents to schools' reform by publishing their own proposals.

They are trying to steer policy rather than oppose it outright in a bid to wring a compromise from ministers.

The new 9,000 word manifesto being drafted by the backbenchers will set out the case for continued investment in renewable energy, rather than taking "a dangerous leap with nuclear".

It will be published in February, as the government's energy review gets under way with a consultation document in January.

The group claims the indirect support of the environment minister Elliot Morley, who in remarks reported by the Guardian told a seminar organised by the socialist environmentalist group Sera: "I don't think nuclear development is economically viable, and since no one is offering to pay, it would certainly need to have financial support from the government.

"Is it the right time for that? Should we not be putting this money into renewables and other efficiency measures? I would prefer to see investment in carbon-capture technologies."


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