Lindsay Hoyle rebukes Michael Gove for breaking ministerial code
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Linsday Hoyle has berated Michael Gove for breaching the Ministerial Code, suspending the House for half an hour. This came after the Levelling Up Secretary gave a statement on the newly approved coal mine in Cumbria, without supplying the Speaker with a copy of the statement in advance.
Hitting out at Mr Gove, Sir Lindsay said: “I’ve got the thinnest statement ever and quite rightly the minister has gone long.
“So there is something missing between what I’ve been provided, what the opposition has been provided.
“That is not according to the ministerial code. We don’t work like that.
“The shadow secretary has not been able to read what has been said. I’m going to suspend the house for five minutes in order to try and find out what is in and has just been told to the house.”
The House did not return until 11.30 for business questions to Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt.
Addressing the House of Commons, Michael Gove said had said the coal mine in Cumbria would “to some extent, support the transition to a low-carbon future”.
The Communities Secretary told the Commons: “It is vitally important that all of us recognise, as the inspector does on page 255, that the proposed development would to some extent support the transition to a low-carbon future, specifically as a consequence of the provision of a currently needed resource from a mine that aspires to be net-zero.
“I think it is also important that we recognise that in any change of land use there will always be a potential impact on biodiversity and on the local environment as well.
“And again, it is important to note that the inspector on page 278 of his report makes it clear that this mine would not cause any unacceptable impacts on ecology, nor result in a net loss in bio diversity.”
On the impact on employment and on the economy, locally and nationally, Mr Gove said: “As the inspector notes on page 279, the mine will directly create 532 jobs, which will make a substantial contribution to local employment opportunities, because these will be skilled and well-paid jobs.
“The employment and the indirect employment that would follow will result in a significant contribution to the local and regional economy with increased spending in local shops, facilities, and services.”
Yesterday, the UK Government granted planning permission for a new coal mine in Cumbria, the first in 30 years.
A Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities spokesman said: “The Secretary of State has agreed to grant planning permission for a new metallurgical coal mine in Cumbria as recommended by the independent planning inspector.
“This coal will be used for the production of steel and would otherwise need to be imported. It will not be used for power generation.
“The mine seeks to be net zero in its operations and is expected to contribute to local employment and the wider economy.”
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