Minister’s irresponsible statement on Cumbrian mine could cost the public tens of millions in the Courts

  • Date: 17/03/21
  • Press Release, Global Warming Policy Forum

London, 17 March: The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF) has criticised Kwasi Kwarteng, the Secretary of State for the Department of Business, for announcing that the government has essentially ruled out the Cumbrian coal mine.

His action prejudices an independent inquiry the government has set up but which hasn’t even started to take evidence.
Asked on the BBC’s Today Programme why ministers did not simply announce they’re blocking the plan, Kwarteng confirmed: “Essentially what we’ve done is pretty much that.”
By stating his opposition ahead of the inquiry into the mine, Mr Kwarteng has prejudiced the government’s ability to make an objective decision, and has thus ensured that a legal challenge to any refusal of planning consent is likely, and likely to succeed.

The developers behind the coal mine will now be looking for substantial compensation, and rightly so.

GWPF Director Benny Peiser said:

Kwasi Kwarteng’s irresponsible announcement has put public funds at risk. This an elementary ministerial error, and surprising for a minister of Cabinet rank.

Cancelling permission for the coal mine would be economically and environmentally foolish, but having to pay compensation to the mine developers as well looks like incompetence.”

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