The future of an independent review of the UK government’s approach to reaching net zero was thrown into doubt after around 40 Conservative MPs rebelled on a fracking vote, including the member appointed to carry it out. Chris Skidmore, a former energy minister, said he could not vote with the government, even though it had warned the whip would be withdrawn, meaning rebels would have to sit as independents in future. The threat to eject MPs appeared to be withdrawn by the government when their number became clear. Skidmore, who later tweeted to suggest he was continuing his research, was appointed in September to conduct a three-month review, which would focus on “assessing which pathway to net-zero will bear the greatest economic benefits”. The review’s call for evidence from businesses and organisations is scheduled to close on 27 October.
As the former Energy Minister who signed Net Zero into law, for the sake of our environment and climate, I cannot personally vote tonight to support fracking and undermine the pledges I made at the 2019 General Election.
I am prepared to face the consequences of my decision.
— Chris Skidmore (@CSkidmoreUK) October 19, 2022