Yesterday’s newspapers were full of stories about David Cameron’s new
Lexus Hybrid (see Sun clipping on right). Today’s newspapers report that Greg Barker, who travelled to Norway
with the Tory leader, is being forced to sell his Porsche Boxster. Chris
Grayling has already sold his Land Rover.
Sunday newspapers once wanted to know if the
Tory shadow cabinet used illegal drugs. The chief whip once feared a newspaper discovering a Tory MP in bed with someone else’s wife. He now fears a Tory MP being discovered in the driving seat of a petrol-guzzling SUV. Fleet Street’s cameras are no longer trained on the bedrooms but on the gravel driveways. Is that a Range Rover in Alan Duncan’s parking lot? Is IDS still driving a Morgan? Do Devon’s Tory MPs travel together up to Westminster or are they all using separate cars?
Mr Cameron’s choice of the luxury Lexus hybrid car is already under fire from Labour. The Conservative leader declined the offer of a Government car – the Toyota Prius – which emits CO2 at a rate of 104 grammes per kilometre. CCHQ is apparently renting a £45,000 Lexus GS 450h, which pollutes at 186g/km. A spokesman for Alistair Darling told The Sunday Telegraph: "Rather than take the Prius he has been offered, he has gone for leg room over the environment and a new luxury car with nearly twice the CO2 emissions."
This week’s green initiatives by David Cameron, in particular, and Gordon Brown have led the Independent on Sunday’s leader writers to conclude that the green giant has finally awoken. Within the IoS Zac Goldsmith makes the case against nuclear power – arguing that energy efficiency "buys seven times more "solution" than a pound invested in nuclear". In The Sunday Telegraph (which also contains a letter from scientists questioning the belief in man-made global warming) David Cameron promises to deliver major reductions in the pollution caused by cars by the adoption of clean technologies. His article concludes:
"As our name implies, we are the natural party of conservation. We believe in enterprise and innovation, we have faith in markets, and we understand that Government doesn’t have all the answers – that we have a shared responsibility to bring about positive change. These traditional Conservative values uniquely enable us to meet the great environmental challenges of the 21st century."