It wasn’t so long ago that people complained that not enough former prime ministers chose to stay on as MPs. However, Rishi Sunak is fast discovering the downside to having one’s predecessors stick around.

Boris Johnson and Liz Truss are reportedly planning to back an attempt led by former Levelling Up Secretary Simon Clarke to overturn the current restrictions that effectively ban onshore wind farms. After Sunak cancelled Truss’s plans to relax the rules, Clarke, who served under Truss, is tabling an amendment to the Levelling Up Bill.

The Tory battle over planning has been waged for years now

That piece of legislation is fast becoming the battlefield for a war between the two Tory tribes on planning. Clarke’s attempt comes after Theresa Villiers led her own rebellion to scrap house-building targets. She managed to force the government to delay a planned vote after 50 Blue Wall MPs signed her amendment to make house-building targets only advisory.

The Tory battle over planning has been waged for years now. Even after winning a large majority in the 2019 election, Boris Johnson had to back down from his promise of a radical shake-up of planning reform. But one planning rebel told Coffee House that it’s a sign of stability that they are now able to focus on changing legislation rather than asking how long the Prime Minister has left.

However, that the Bill is now being used by MPs on both sides of the debate shows the challenges the government will face getting its business through. That matters when there are more contentious issues, such as immigration and the Channel crossing crisis. The fact that Johnson and Truss already appear willing to rebel highlights how tricky whipping this Conservative parliamentary party will be – whoever leads it.

QOSHE - Politics / Truss and Johnson’s rebellion gives Sunak a headache - Katy Balls
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Politics / Truss and Johnson’s rebellion gives Sunak a headache

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25.11.2022

It wasn’t so long ago that people complained that not enough former prime ministers chose to stay on as MPs. However, Rishi Sunak is fast discovering the downside to having one’s predecessors stick around.

Boris Johnson and Liz Truss are reportedly planning to back an attempt led by former Levelling Up Secretary Simon Clarke to overturn the current restrictions that effectively ban onshore wind farms. After Sunak cancelled Truss’s plans........

© The Spectator


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