Orkney and Shetland MP Alistair Carmichael has criticised the Prime Minister for his “neglectful attitude” towards the country’s energy sector after it emerged the Prime Minister in his cabinet reshuffle has appointed a part time peer as the UK government’s energy minister.
The Prime Minister has handed the energy portfolio to Lord Hunt of Kings Heath, who also serves as deputy leader of the House of Lords. Energy questions will be handled in the House of Commons by David Kidney MP, an unpaid junior minister with no previous experience.
Since Labour came to power in 1997, there have been 11 Energy Ministers.
Mr Carmichael said: “[This] part time appointment is just another example of the Prime Minister’s neglectful attitude to this country’s energy sector. To have had 11 ministers in 12 years is ridiculous and undermines this vital industry and all those who work within it. It is not that long since the energy minister was a member of the cabinet in its own right. The present devalued status of the job does not reflect the strategic importance of the subject in the UK or as a whole.
“The development West of Shetland and many other energy projects are long term projects of critical importance to our area and to the country. Still, the Prime Minister seems happy to neglect them by appointing a part-time unelected peer and a junior minister with no experience.”