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« Wallis and the Today programme | Main | Trip report »
Wednesday
Aug152012

Yeo must go

The Telegraph is reporting that Conservative backbenchers are increasingly unhappy with Tim Yeo's chairmanship of the House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Committee. It seems that the vast flows of cash he receives from renewables companies are now seen as unacceptable. Yeo apparently issued a statement to the Mail:

Not only have my interests been correctly registered at all times but... they were listed in full on the ballot paper circulated to all MPs when I was elected chair of the committee in June 2010.

Furthermore, I’ve held the views I’ve expressed regularly on renewable energy consistently and strongly since 1993, as many publicly available documents over the last 19 years show.

That the Commons elected him despite his conflict of interest in 2010 does not seem to be a good reason for him to keep his position now. Yeo must go.

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Reader Comments (76)

Absolutely Yeo must go - simply ludicrous conflicts of interenst. It seems that Parliament is riddled with them, an indicator that the Parliamentary Committee for Standards and Privileges is simply not fit for purpose, nor indeed it would seem is the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, John Lyon -

"In an article about John Lyon's questioning by the parliamentary enquiry into MPs' expenses, Private Eye described him as 'feeble' and an 'establishment stooge'."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parliamentary_Commissioner_for_Standards

Both the Committee and the Commissioner should comprise of members up to the job, such as Elizabeth Filkin who was ousted as Commissioner in 2002. We desperately need her, or someone of similar ilk in position to improve standards in Parliament which have plummeted in the last decade.

Aug 15, 2012 at 9:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterMarion

Try as I might, I cannot think of anything I could write about Mr Yeo that isn't potentially actionable so I will desist.

Aug 15, 2012 at 9:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterAndyS

How is it possible to have a man who takes £167k/annum from the renewables industry chairing a committee on climate change, I would have thought that a man of the highest probity would have recused himself from such a post because the advice of the committee would have a direct effect on his remuneration. For those of you wondering how anyone could chair four companies, a committee of parliament and act as an MP for his constituents in his own words his duties involve: " "...chairing board meetings and keeping in touch with senior management.” So, effectively he chairs the meetings, and nothing else. Well, of course he could possibly represent the views of the companies he chairs in Parliment, or could lobby for their interests, but apparently Yeo does none of these things, he is completely neutral.

Then you have to ask why the companies want an MP to be their chairman whem there are many thousands, if not millions of others equally qualified to chair meetings and keep in touch with senior staff. Surely it can only be because with years of experience in parliament Yeo is good at chairing meetings and not because they want to gain influence in parliament. They are after all beyond reproach, as is Mr. Yeo.

Interesting way he has with dealing with sceptics, here is a quote from Leo of the Guardian which I've now unsuccessfully asked Mr. Yeo to deny:

“An alternative, as Yeo has pointed out on previous occasions, is to simply let nature take care of the elderly sceptics, who will go to their graves sooner than the rest of the population.”

Given that Mr. Yeo represents South Suffolk which isn't exactly short of elderly people, and given that said elderly people to a man and woman are probably Tory voters, and given that said Tory voters are more likely, according to the Eugenics Phsychologists who've been working on the brains of sceptics, to be sceptics, I wonder if Mr. Yeo, who tells us himself that he's a man of the utmost probity, would like to communicate his hopes and desires to his electorate? What do you think?

Aug 15, 2012 at 9:26 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

'Look I've held the views I've expressed regularly on renewable energy consistently and STRONGLY since 1993 ..." so it's okay, hafta say I'm eminently, e - m - i - n - e - n - t - l -y suited ter be the Chair of the House of Commons Energy andClimate Change Committee..

Aug 15, 2012 at 9:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterBeth Cooper

The inestimable Guido Fawkes reminds us of this

http://order-order.com/2010/02/08/guy-news-yeo-tory-policy-confusion-lie-action-replay/

Aug 15, 2012 at 9:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

Hopefully this may lead to a few changes that tidy up the remnants of the green dream and let parliament focus on more appropriate matters as they should be.

Aug 15, 2012 at 9:38 AM | Registered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

Yeo should go regardless of his £167k earnings. Despite being chair he is far from impartial. For example he has even advocated state sponsored corruption: Bribe residents to accept wind turbines, says Tim Yeo MP. Cameron should sack him forthwith and not wait for a re-shuffle.

Aug 15, 2012 at 9:51 AM | Registered Commenterlapogus

Allowing Yeo to go would be a very dangerous precedent for the Green movement to set themselves. Let me explain why I think this.

You have to ask why there has been no clamour for his head from the left?

Imagine he was chairman of the select committee deciding the future of private education in this country, and it was revealed that he received large sums from the firms bidding for the contract to run schools. Or on the defence select committee, receiving funds from armaments manufacturers. The Guardian and BBC would be in full hysterical evil Tory mode.

But they are silent.

The left is silent on this for a reason, and that reason is the mote in their own eye. If Tim Yeo is forced to resign because of his involvement with green funding it opens the door to criticism of the vast (and I mean vast: see Jo Nova's investigation into the multibillion-dollar green advocacy industry).

It's a can of worms that cannot be allowed to open.

Aug 15, 2012 at 10:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterStuck-record

Yeo must go, but who will replace him? Gummer is equally greenwashed, with a strong dose of religion throw in.

Aug 15, 2012 at 10:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterPaul

Love the thinking here:

// "let nature take care of the elderly sceptics..." //

This muddled thinking is endemic among greenies/lefties. They really do think that the people in the last 10 years of life's conveyor belt will fall off life's conveyor belt in the next 10 years and then the end of the conveyor belt will be an empty stretch.

Aug 15, 2012 at 10:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

It must now be dawning on some parliamentarians that the wind and green energy revolution is an fantasy. They will probably have picked Yeo *because* of his interests thinking he'd know what he was talking about (see: Bryony Worthington and the Climate Change Act). I won't be surprised if they replace him with someone with vested interests in a different direction rather than someone devoid of them.

Aug 15, 2012 at 10:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterGareth

Graham Stringer perhaps?

Aug 15, 2012 at 11:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterArthur Dent

I find it inconceivable that any MP with lucrative outside business interests should be put into a position where he can influence government policy in favour of these interests. Yeo clearly falls into this category and should be replaced forthwith. I understand that, according to Christopher Booker, the ennobled John Gummer is in a similar position.

I suggest Peter Lilley would be a very suitable replacement.

Aug 15, 2012 at 11:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Stroud

LibLabCon are all rent-seeking leeches.

Aug 15, 2012 at 11:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterAC1

Yeo has form, too. He was forced to resign as Minister for the Environment & Countryside 20 years ago, when he had an affair (and child) with a local councillor, having earlier delivered an oration on the decline of family values...

Perfect Tory material, really!

Aug 15, 2012 at 11:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

geronimo quoting Leo Hickman:

“An alternative, as Yeo has pointed out on previous occasions, is to simply let nature take care of the elderly sceptics, who will go to their graves sooner than the rest of the population.”
Well I for one am not intending to go gently into that good night any time soon. I shall rage, rage against the dying of the light, until they switch the bloody thing back on.

Aug 15, 2012 at 11:23 AM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

Aug 15, 2012 at 9:17 AM AndyS

Try as I might, I cannot think of anything I could write about Mr Yeo that isn't potentially actionable so I will desist.

I was originally going to write a comment on the DT article until I read the statement that libellous comments wouldn't be allowed. I thus desisted from commenting as the words "sleaze", "corrupt" and "jail" would have appeared in my comment. I have utter contempt for Yeo and all who support him. No wonder the Conservative Party is losing support when it continues to openly allow (and encourage) this type of behaviour.

Aug 15, 2012 at 11:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

A conflict of interest is one thing but absolute stupidity is far worse and Yeo, and his mate Gummer, both suffer from this.
They should go now.

Aug 15, 2012 at 11:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Marshall

Geoff Chambers 11.25 am "Rage rage against the dying of the light, until they switch the bloody thing back on"

Love it!

Aug 15, 2012 at 11:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterAnthony Hanwell

Jack Hughes/Geoffchambers

I remember a story, can't trace it at present, but it was along the lines of (I think) Joe Stalin talking to a cleric about the (russian) churches and saying that they were full of old women, and when they died the churches wouls be empty. The clergyman replied that the churches were full of old women now, and in 50 years they would still be full of old women!

Aug 15, 2012 at 11:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterCumbrian Lad

Stuck-record; you have made a very good point. Many decades' work by the Frankfurt School to establish the new Marxist paradigm in which the family is replaced by the State and we head towards a Pol Pot/Mao Great Leap Forward, has required a unique cooperation.

The get Green Energy, turning off the lights so the population becomes impoverished and actively seeks revolution, required the cooperation of capitalists in their own downfall. What better way to reignite class hatred than to make the landed gentry rent seekers in association with Mafia-owned renewables companies, also to have the Chairman of the Select Committee someone quite loathsome?

Aug 15, 2012 at 11:42 AM | Unregistered Commenterspartacusisfree

I'm not one to repeat a rumour - so listen the first time.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/5413043/Tim-Yeo-Claimed-for-pink-laptop-on-MPs-expenses.html

Claimed in the week leading up to Christmas.

Aug 15, 2012 at 11:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Reed

There are others who are probably more effective than Tim Yeo at promoting wind farms - Marcus Trinick QC, for example, a partner of Eversheds - his CV here:
http://www.eversheds.com/global/en/who/people/index.page?person=templatedata%5CEversheds%5Cpeople%5Cdata%5Cen%5CTrinick_Marcus

Aug 15, 2012 at 11:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterQuercus

Quercus: the renewables and the btl scams were part of a wider political movement, to re-establish the hegemony of the public school educated and the destruction of meritocracy.

I hasn't worked out until recently that this was a cover for stealth Marxist revolution, by using the greed of capitalism and those who control it, against themselves. Veeerrry Cleeveeer that.

Aug 15, 2012 at 12:00 PM | Unregistered Commenterspartacusisfree

Alan

I see he replied that "A laptop is a laptop whatever colour it is". So why didn't they ask to see the one he was currently using? That would have settled the matter fairly quickly...

Aug 15, 2012 at 12:12 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Geoff

+1 :-)

Aug 15, 2012 at 12:13 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Quercus: Having fenced with Marcus Trinick at the Den Brook Wind Farm public inquiry, I won't tell you what a "nice" person he is. You may have seen him in action in "The Wind Farm Wars".

Aug 15, 2012 at 12:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Geoff Chambers 11.25 am "Rage rage against the dying of the light, until they switch the bloody thing back on"

By then we'll have smart meters and a Green policy of energy rationing, so you'll have to wait until you next ration of energy starts Geoff.

Aug 15, 2012 at 12:20 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

From the Ecclesiastical Uncle, an old retired bureaucrat in a field only remotely related to climate with minimal qualifications and only half a mind.

I guess ... …

When he was appointed Mr Yeo was clearly the man for the job. The Committee was to assist a Green government to make the UK a Green land and in those circumstances who could criticize Mr Yeo for synergistic occupation of both the Committee Chairmanship and some senior posts in commercial enterprises devoted to advancing the Green cause and reaping benefit as a result?

In those heady days, nobody saw any need to complain that Mr Yeo’s commercial pursuits, even had they provided him with no financial rewards, could conflict with the Committee’s duty to make an unbiased report to parliament. How could such a conflict arise? After all Green is good! So Mr Yeo’s commercial gains, properly declared it seems, were readily ignored as money earned by honest sweat in a good cause.

Now, however, there are doubts. So those who formerly kept their heads down herd together in the hope that their mutterings may together amount to a roar. Sentiment, it seems, is changing and that has to be a good thing.

The approach of a costly reality, maybe?

Aug 15, 2012 at 12:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterEcclesiastical Uncle

Stuck-record is bang on.

There is just a sense of the tide turning here. Finally - finally! - the exceptions shown towards climate change alarmism and activism are becoming harder to defend. Many people are finding it hard to square as necessarily different to any other field of science or political discourse.

Casus belli is looking an increasingly thin excuse.

Aug 15, 2012 at 12:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterGixxerboy

The organisations that employ him see no conflict.
He sees no conflict
The House sees no conflict.

Their sense of entitlement is quite breathtaking.

Aug 15, 2012 at 12:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Reed

Geronimo. Did Yeo say that? I'm speechless.

Aug 15, 2012 at 12:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh

sparticusisfree

Much that I appreciate your off the shelf thoughts on many occasions, do you think that next time, when you are offered a blue pill or a red pill, you might try the blue one? ;-)

Aug 15, 2012 at 12:55 PM | Registered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

Chris Heaton-Harris, reportedly the man behind the Yeo questioning, from 'They Work for You';

Asks most questions about
Departments: Energy and Climate Change, Home Department, Communities and Local Government, Justice, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
Subjects (based on headings added by Hansard): Wind Power, Wind Power: Planning Permission, RenewableUK, Wind Power: Noise, Human Rights.

New intake 2010. What was that about conveyor belts?

Aug 15, 2012 at 12:58 PM | Unregistered Commenterssat

Announced by parliament:

27 July 2012

Rt Hon John Gummer, Lord Deben will give evidence in public on his proposed appointment to the post of Chair of the Committee on Climate Change at 3pm on Tuesday 4 September 2012, in the Grimond Room, Portcullis House (room booking provisional).

What is the point of a group of Tory MPs calling for the head of Yeo when they already know he is going? They should have included Gummer in their complaint.

Aug 15, 2012 at 1:02 PM | Registered CommenterDung

The mail has a story on this again today following their other one two days ago.
Of course it was discussed at BH weeks ago at the time of Chris Heaton-Harris's witty tweet.

As stuck record says, it is amusing that the leftwing press makes no mention of this, though it ought to be right up their street - dissent in the Tory ranks, minister with conflict of interest, in the pay of industry.

Aug 15, 2012 at 1:14 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

Second thoughts:
Is the government thinking of seperating energy and climate change with Gummer chairing a new committee on climate change and a new MP being selected for energy?
This would be a good move IMHO.

Aug 15, 2012 at 1:24 PM | Registered CommenterDung

A conflict of interest is one thing but absolute stupidity is far worse and Yeo, and his mate Gummer, both suffer from this.
They should go now.

Aug 15, 2012 at 11:29 AM | John Marshall

I lived in suffolk some years ago and Seldom Glummer was my MP. (during 100yrs :) ) he is a nasty religious nut and cared little for his elderly constituents, IMHO. I think he was the MP with the expenses for a moat and mole, can't remember for certain).

Aug 15, 2012 at 1:37 PM | Unregistered Commenterstephen richards

Gummer's moles and all

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/5301734/John-Gummer-claimed-more-than-9000-a-year-for-gardening-on-MPs-expenses.html

Aug 15, 2012 at 1:47 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

Having heard that Tim Yeo allegedly thinks that it will be a good thing when people like myself and many of this blogs supporters are looking up at the wrong end of the daisies I shall not feel guilty when I fantasize a suitable ending for him and those like him. A martyrdom along the lines of St Catherine but substitute a windmill for the wheel perhaps. Or maybe burnt at the stake on a pile of dodgy expenses claims?

Aug 15, 2012 at 1:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterAndyS

I don't typically get a language software failure but I really cannot put a coherent, legible stream to the multiple overlapping rants that are currently in my head.....

Aug 15, 2012 at 2:15 PM | Unregistered Commenterjones

Aug 15, 2012 at 1:14 PM |Paul Matthews
"As stuck record says, it is amusing that the leftwing press makes no mention of this, though it ought to be right up their street - dissent in the Tory ranks, minister with conflict of interest, in the pay of industry."

This was covered on the Sky News paper review on Monday at 11:30pm while the presenter and the other reviewer tried to examine the story, the reviewer from the Guardian Zoe Williams defended Yeo running interference over everything that they said. Justified Yeo's arrangements on the basis that being head of that committee it was his task to reduce carbon which must be done so could see no problems with such arrangements.

Aug 15, 2012 at 2:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterMick J

Dung
I fear you have grasped the wrong end of the stick.
The Climate Change Committee and the Commons Energy and Climate Change Committee are two different animals.

On the subject of Heaton-Harris (et possibly al) would it be possible to feed some of the more realistic members of the 2010 intake with some of the facts to allow them at least to be informed enough to respond when the ministers regurgitate the DECC propaganda? If they can catch enough ministers on the back foot often enough then some serious questions might start to be asked in the cesspit of the DECC.

Aug 15, 2012 at 2:18 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Mike

You may well be right but then how strange that I find the announcement here:


You are here:

Parliament home page
Parliamentary business
Committees
Committees A-Z
Commons Select
Energy and Climate Change Committee
News
Pre-appointment hearing for the post of Chair of the Committee on Climate Change

Aug 15, 2012 at 2:36 PM | Registered CommenterDung

If Yeo does go, it could be an early sign that the CAGW meme has finally jumped the shark in Britain, leaving our esteemed (not) carbon-taxing Gillardine out on a limb with egg on her face (to egregiously mix a few metaphors).

Aug 15, 2012 at 3:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterChris M

2Geronimo. Did Yeo say that? I'm speechless."

The quote was from Leo Hickman in the Guardian, I have written to Yeo twice asking him to confirm/deny. He hasn't responded, so I guess it's true else he'd have simply denied it. He's a nasty piece of goods.

Aug 15, 2012 at 3:39 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

"I really cannot put a coherent, legible stream to the multiple overlapping rants that are currently in my head....." --jones

"Try as I might, I cannot think of anything I could write about Mr Yeo that isn't potentially actionable so I will desist." --AndyS

I do not like thee, Mister Yeo,
The reason why - I think you know;
So say goodbye; it's apropos.
We do not like thee, Mister Yeo.

Aug 15, 2012 at 3:51 PM | Unregistered Commenterjorgekafkazar

Years ago, when I was delving into the workings of said committee while fighting a wind farm application, the parliamentary website for that committee showed all the 'sponsors' supporting its work. Guess what? They were all renewable energy companies and the BWEA. There seemed little point in trying to find any valid comments the committee may have had to make on the disbenefits of wind farms once I discovered that and especially after reading Yeo's contributions to any debate. It all seems to have been removed now - from the website - I imagine the vested interests still 'support' the committee.

As for Yeo............... similarly, my comments would be libellous.

Aug 15, 2012 at 4:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterGrumpy

On the subject of renewable energy related corruption conflict of interest, don't forget Cameron and Clegg.

Aug 15, 2012 at 5:14 PM | Unregistered Commenterjaffa

Dung
No surprises.
The Commons Energy and Climate Change Committee is indeed holding a pre-appointment hearing for the post of Chair of the Climate Change Committee, which is a different entity.
Deben couldn't be Chair of the Commons Energy and Climate Change Committee.

Aug 15, 2012 at 5:23 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

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