Kemi Badenoch slaps down wealthy Lord Goldsmith over net zero blast
‘Zac Goldsmith has way more money than pretty much everyone in the UK’: Cabinet minister Kemi Badenoch slaps down multi-millionaire green Tory peer who demanded a snap election over Rishi Sunak’s net zero U-turn
Cabinet minister Kemi Badenoch today lashed back at Tory peer Zac Goldsmith following his savage criticism of Rishi Sunak’s net zero U-turn.
Lord Goldsmith, a former Government minister, branded the Prime Minister’s action ‘cynical’ and ‘reprehensible’.
He also demanded a snap general election after Mr Sunak moved to water down a series of climate pledges.
Ms Badenoch this morning dismissed a suggestion that Lord Goldsmith’s view was widely shared within the Conservative Party, as she took aim at the peer’s wealth.
The Business and Trade Secretary pointed out that the multi-millionaire has ‘way more money than pretty much everyone in the UK’.
The PM has argued he is saving families up to £15,000 by pushing back a series of net zero measures.
Cabinet minister Kemi Badenoch lashed back at Tory peer Zac Goldsmith following his savage criticism of Rishi Sunak ‘s net zero U-turn
Lord Goldsmith, a former Government minister, branded the Prime Minister’s action ‘cynical’ and ‘reprehensible’
He Tory peer also demanded a snap general election after Mr Sunak moved to water down a series of climate pledges
Speaking to LBC radio, Ms Badenoch defended the Government’s action amid a Tory backlash – including Lord Goldsmith’s comments.
‘You have chosen negative comments,’ she said. ‘There are lots of Conservative MPs who are speaking very positively about this.
‘So you’re only giving one view. Zac Goldsmith is someone who cares very much about the environment. He is a friend of mine.
‘But the fact is, he has way more money than pretty much everyone in the UK.
‘This is not to how we make decisions. We need to make decisions based on what the facts are.
‘The facts are energy costs are rising, the facts are… you look at the economic challenge that China is creating all around the world.
‘Electric vehicles rely on Chinese batteries, the supply chain post-pandemic is changing.
‘We need to think about not just being the world leader, which we are, but also energy security, making sure we can be more self-reliant, not reliant on countries who don’t have our interests at heart.
‘We need to think about regeneration, about clean air – all these things come into play. We are doing these things in a fair and proportionate way.’
Ms Badnoch was challenged as to whether she was suggesting all wealthy people like Lord Goldsmith – including Mr Sunak, who is worth an estimated £529million together with his wife – were out of touch.
‘They are doing quite different things,’ she replied. ‘The point I’m making is that Zec Goldsmith is one person, who has one opinion.
‘He is a friend of mine, I have had arguments with him about this.
‘But the key thing is you can’t cherrypick comments and say they are reflective of entire Conservative Party, that is just simply not the case.’
She added: ‘He (Lord Goldsmith) does have the right to an opinion, but I disagree with his opinion.
‘This is not an issue about me and Zac Goldsmith, this is an issue about the people of the UK.
‘We need to stop focusing on specific personalities and look at the content of the policy.’
The PM has argued he is saving families up to £15,000 by pushing back a series of net zero measures
Lord Goldsmith posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, to say his decision to quit the Government had been ‘vindicated’ by Mr Sunak’s action on net zero
Lord Goldsmith, who is estimated to be worth around £300million, was appointed to the Government by ex-PM Boris Johnson and remained a minister under his successors Liz Truss and Mr Sunak.
But the Tory peer quit his Foreign Office role in June as he blasted Mr Sunak for being ‘uninterested’ in the environment and accused the PM of ‘apathy’ over climate issues.
He followed up his criticism this week with a blast at Mr Sunak’s move to water down net zero pledges.
Lord Goldsmith posted on X, formerly known as Twitter: ‘I have had 00s of messages from Cons friends in govt, Parliament & around the world telling me this move by the PM vindicates my decision to noisily resign.
‘I didn’t want vindication. I hoped it would add pressure on govt to prove me & others wrong. We need an election. Now.’
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