Red Wall Tory revolt over Boris’s green drive: Northern MPs blast PM’s climate plans over cost to poorest Britons – and plan to axe gas boilers by 2035 could be watered down

  • Conservatives elected in 2019 lashed out in a private WhatsApp group last night 
  • Fears voters in former Labour heartlands would be worst hit by changes 
  • PM has outlined plans to make the UK ‘net zero’ in terms of emissions by 2050 
  • Includes petrol and diesel car sales and the end of gas home boilers 

Boris Johnson is facing a revolt among Tory MPs in former ‘red wall’ seats in the north of England over the eye-watering cost of his environmental drive.

Conservatives elected in 2019 in working class areas that had been Labour for generations lashed out in a private WhatsApp group last night over fears their constituents will be left out of pocket.

Mr Johnson has outlined his plans to make the UK ‘net zero’ in terms of emissions by 2050, including banning petrol and diesel car sales within a decade.

He also plans to outlaw gas boilers in homes and have them replaced with costly green alternatives. 

The Prime Minister yesterday argued that acting now was cheaper than delaying the change. 

But the MPs, many of whom have been in the Commons for just two years, vented their fury over the cost and the lack of reciprocal efforts from major polluters, in messages revealed by the Sun.

Brendan Clarke-Smith, who represents Bassetlaw in Nottinghamshire, said: ‘It’s a hard sell asking people to make sacrifices when the rest of the world, China/Russia etc, are carrying on as usual.’

And Ashfield’s ex-miner MP Lee Anderson added: ‘This will not go down well in Red Wall seats at all.’ 

Mr Johnson has outlined his plans to make the UK ‘net zero’ in terms of emissions by 2050, including banning petrol and diesel car sales within a decade.


Brendan Clarke-Smith, who represents Bassetlaw in Nottinghamshire, said: ‘It’s a hard sell asking people to make sacrifices when the rest of the world, China/Russia etc, are carrying on as usual.’ And Ashfield’s ex-miner MP Lee Anderson added: ‘This will not go down well in Red Wall seats at all.’

Ministers are also said to be considering watering down plans to ban the installation of gas boilers in 2035. They are due to be barred from new homes in just four years’ time with all other houses following suit a decade later. 

But the Times today suggests that the move could be made an ‘ambition’, over the cost of green replacements that can reach £12,000.

The Prime Minister used a social video video this week to back his targets – including making the UK ‘net zero’ in terms of emissions by 2050.

Critics have warned that that target could cost £1.4trillion and a senior minister admitted yesterday that families will bear some of the cost. 

It came after a new UN climate report painted a bleak picture of the future without immediate action. 

In the video, Mr Johnson said: ‘It’s far cheaper and more effective to act now to avoid incalculable (environmental) damage in the future, and economic (damage) as well.

‘Here in the UK we have proved we can do it, we have halved emissions in the last three decades, even though our country has grown much richer.’

It comes as a new poll shows the vast majority of Britons bellieve that climate change and the threat it poses is real.

YouGov found that almost three-quarters (73 per cent) believes that the impact of environmental damage is not being exaggerated. 

Over half (55 per cent) said they were frightened, including 15 per cent who admitted to being ‘very’ frightened’.

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