Sunak faces by-election as ex-energy minister quits over drilling legislation
Rishi Sunak faces another by-election challenge as former energy minister Chris Skidmore resigned as an MP, after quitting the Tories over legislation to boost North Sea oil and gas drilling.
Mr Skidmore, who led a Government review of net zero, announced on Friday he would stand down, with a scathing attack on the Prime Minister’s environmental stance.
The MP for Kingswood in South Gloucestershire said the “future will judge harshly” anyone who backs the Offshore Petroleum Licensing Bill due before the Commons on Monday.
He said he could not vote for legislation that “clearly promotes the production of new oil and gas” and would show the UK is “rowing ever further back from its climate commitments”.
“To fail to act, rather than merely speak out, is to tolerate a status quo that cannot be sustained,” he said in his resignation statement.
Mr Skidmore said he would resign the Conservative whip to make him an independent and quit as an MP “as soon as possible”.
He confirmed to the PA news agency that he would quit “next week when Parliament is back”, with the Commons still on its Christmas recess until Monday.
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