Davey moves quickly to reduce new minister’s energy influence

A newspaper report says UK energy secretary Ed Davey has acted to curb the influence of newly appointed energy minister, John Hayes.

The Daily Telegraph reports that Mr Davey acted to prevent John Hayes, who was appointed in this month’s reshuffle at the expense of Charles Hendry, taking formal responsibility for renewable energy strategy.

Ed Davey John Hayes
Following the reshuffle, Mr Davey told officials that he would take over responsibility for many of the issues previously assigned to Mr Hendry.

An official Whitehall list of ministerial responsibilities has recently been updated to add “renewable energy strategy” to Mr Davey’s portfolio.

Mr Hayes, meanwhile, is responsible only for “renewable energy deployment”, implementing decisions made by his Lib Dem colleague.

There were fears about the appointment amongst the renewables sector as Mr Hayes has campaigned against wind farms in his constituency, describing turbines as a “terrible intrusion” on the landscape.

Conservative MPs opposed to wind farms saw his appointment to the Department of Energy and Climate Change as a positive sign, hoping that the new minister would try to curb the spread of turbines.

Relations between the Coalition parties over energy policy, and wind power in particular, have become increasingly strained and Mr Davey has been fighting attempts by the Treasury to deepen cuts in subsidies for wind farms.

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