Tory 'shambles' over by-election

Voters are due to go to the polls in the marginal seat of Corby

Voters are due to go to the polls in the marginal seat of Corby

First published in National News © by

The Government is mired in another "shambles" in the latest row over the coalition's wind power policy, Labour has claimed.

Controversy erupted when it emerged the Conservatives' campaign manager for the Corby by-election was filmed apparently admitting he encouraged a rival candidate.

Chris Heaton-Harris was caught suggesting his friend James Delingpole, a Daily Telegraph writer, put his name forward as part of a "strategy" against onshore wind farms.

Speaking to a Greenpeace activist posing as a wind power opponent last month, the Daventry MP said: "There's a bit of strategy behind what's going on.

"I'm running the Corby by-election for the Tories... And Delingpole, who is my constituent, and a very good friend... put his head above the parapet but won't put his deposit down... It's just part of the plan."

The admission followed an apparent coalition split last month between Conservative energy minister John Hayes and his boss, Lib Dem Cabinet Minister Ed Davey.

Mr Hayes said of onshore wind "Enough is enough" - sparking praise from Tory peer Lord Cormack, who said: "He echoed the feelings of many people throughout this country and we believe he is a hero."

Speaking at Lords questions, Labour frontbench spokeswoman Baroness Worthington claimed: "We have the Corby shambles and a Government at war with itself over wind farms."

Fellow Labour peer Lord Foulkes of Cumnock accused Mr Heaton-Harris of "undermining the Liberal Democrat Energy Secretary".

But energy minister Baroness Verma insisted the policy for wind turbines was unchanged, adding: "They need to be part of our renewables energy mix and we continue on that path."

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