Bowie ‘loses pylons brief after meeting campaigners’

Andrew Bowie MP

A NORTH-EAST MP has lost his government responsibility for pylon-building after campaigning against new pylons in his constituency.

Andrew Bowie, a UK Government energy minister, has been quietly moved from his role of overseeing national plans to build more pylons after being put in charge of the brief in February last year.

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In his role, the Scots Tory MP had responsibility over energy networks including the grid.

In July he wrote on the blog he runs for constituents in West Aberdeen that concerns among locals about new pylons were “a priority of mine”. He met local anti-pylon campaigners on multiple occasions.

In December the brief was passed to the climate minister Graham Stuart. No announcement was made but a change has been made on the government website.

Politico reported that concerns around a requirement in the ministerial code for government figures to avoid any conflict between constituency issues and their departmental responsibilities was said to be behind the decision to move Mr Bowie.

He now serves as the “Minister for Nuclear and Renewables”.

Scottish Renewables said it is “time to be upfront and honest” about the need for updated infrastructure.

It said previous work by the UK National Grid estimated “five times more transmission lines need to be built by 2030 than have been built in the past 30 years, at a cost of more than £50 billion”.

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