UK & World News
Tory MP 'Backed Rival In Anti-Wind Farm Plot'
The Tory MP running the party's by-election campaign in Corby has been secretly filmed apparently encouraging a rival to stand in the contest.
Chris Heaton-Harris was the subject of a sting by Greenpeace, who recorded him admitting he had wanted the anti-wind farm independent James Delingpole to join the race.
He said Mr Delingpole, a Daily Telegraph journalist and climate change sceptic, had put his name forward as part of a "plan" to "cause some hassle", according to the footage.
"Please don't tell anybody ever," he begged, believing he was speaking to the representative of a fictional lobbying group called Windefensible.
He was actually talking to undercover film-maker Chris Atkins, who made contact with him at the Tory Party conference last month.
The sting is embarrassing for the Tories, who are set to lose the by-election and are already at loggerheads with their Lib Dem coalition partners over energy policy.
In the film, Mr Heaton-Harris, said: "There's a bit of strategy behind what's going on. I'm running the Corby by-election for the Tories... and Delingpole, who is my constituent, and a very good friend... put his head above the parapet but won't put his deposit down... It's just part of the plan."
In another section that is only partly audible, the MP for Daventry appears to admit that he "suggested" the move to his friend Mr Delingpole - conceding this was "awkward".
"Please don't tell anybody ever. But he will not be putting his deposit down. He just did it because it's a long campaign, it's six weeks to cause some hassle and get... people talking," he said.
Asked if he was trying to put the anti-wind farm campaign on the agenda, he replied: "Exactly. And it will go through way past the Corby by-election stuff. I'm trying to write it into the DNA of the Tory party."
Mr Delingpole did later pull out of the race, the day after the Tory Energy Minister John Hayes controversially declared "enough is enough" about the spread of wind farms.
Mr Atkins met Mr Heaton-Harris a second time, on that same day, according to The Guardian.
The MP confirmed Mr Delingpole was pulling out of the election - calling the timing "contrived" - and said he would now write in support of the Tories in The Telegraph.
Just 24 hours later, the journalist did exactly that, praising Mr Hayes' comments. Mr Heaton-Harris said it would be a "nice piece for the boss to see".
After the sting was revealed, the MP denied supporting Mr Delingpole's candidacy because pulling out before submitting a deposit means he was never technically a candidate.
"There was no conspiracy or 'conspiring with an opposition candidate'," he said.
He later issued another statement on his website, saying: "The quotes attributed to me range from factually correct statements to me bragging about things beyond my control, which has so often before been the failing of politicians.
"The implication that I choreographed any sort of 'secret plan' is simply not the case and I apologise if that is the impression given.
"It can hardly be said that my wanting to 'put this on the agenda' is new. I have spent years fighting onshore wind, getting over 100 MPs to sign a letter to the Prime Minister, securing debates and raising questions in Parliament and touring the country speaking to anti-wind groups.
"It is a subject I am passionate about and will continue to work on until communities across my constituency, Northamptonshire and the country have the protection they deserve."
Michael Dugher MP, Labour's shadow minister without portfolio, said: "This is yet more evidence of the Conservative Party in chaos.
"It is astonishing that a Conservative MP appears to have encouraged a rival candidate to run in a by-election in order to campaign against wind farms. David Cameron needs to get a grip on his divided and out-of-touch party."
The Corby contest was sparked when Tory Louise Mensch quit her job to move to the US with her family and Labour are expected to win comfortably.
Hello, regular commenting on Orange News and Sport pages closes on Thursday 30 May 2013. We will continue to provide a commenting facility on major news and sport events on orangeworld.co.uk. Contact us via http://oran.ge/OWfeedback if you have any further questions. Thanks.
what do you think?
It is not a stunt! Wind farms are not just a blight on the landscape but completely inefficient and use more resources than they can ever repay. Each one has to e backed up by generating cpacty tha is actually ticking over, uneconomically, ready to be boosted as soon as the wind drops or even, and people forget this, if the wnd becomes too strong, when they have to be switched off before they overheat. To add injury to insult, our electricity bills are inflated to subsidise them! The only viable option is nuclear.
Windows Live User
At this point of time you are 100% correct. Problem is we should have began to replace and build years ago
Wind farms the most UN environmental power source we are pushing its been flowed time and time again but fat cats in high places are still pushing because they make a fortune is supplying and erecting these useless things I have no problem with so called green energy to improve the air quality but don't try justifying it by climate change because climate change is just a tax everything they blame on climate change as happened years and years before and will carry on happening in years to come even if you could switch pollution off overnight its called natural events and very well documented
But isn't it a clever way of managing to tax the natural cycles of the earth under the guise of saving the planet. Shout it LOUD & clear.Its a SCAM
Yeah, yeah, talk about the merits de-merits of wind farms all you like, the REAL story here is the complete disarray of the Tories. small wonder Louise Mensch bailed out and left her constituents high and dry - because she was going to get slaughtered at the next election.
If I could afford one I'd have one in my garden, its allways windy here. Why can't one be developed that is efficient enough to be used on reidential property, I bet the take up would be enormous. Sod the nimbys free electric for all.
Or even a couple of solar panels in every roof!
Same old story the haves can afford solar panels thus cheaper energy. Have nots, metered energy which is more expensive. Yes folks we are all in it together.
Windows Live User
johnmstg42ml am I incorrect in thinking the haves get rooftop panel paid for by us lot, then also sell excess electricity back into the grid?
Windows Live User
In 40 or 50 years time they will be pulling these things down for scrap, claiming they didnt work and were inefficient, but were necessary back in 2000 to keep people happy as well as some clowns in Europe and also a few people made some goodmoney out of them. In the meanwhile all those years will have been lost in developing generators that really do work, that the people can benefit from and do not kill us all in the process. Stop being pressured into racing a 3 legged donkey in the Europe Race andcome up with a decent system