Boris Johnson and Liz Truss have launched a challenge to Rishi Sunak’s authority by joining a Tory rebellion backing wind farms to tackle the energy crisis.
In their first major interventions since leaving Downing Street, the two former prime ministers have demanded an end to the ban on new onshore wind farms.
They both signed an amendment to the Government’s Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, just days after Mr Sunak’s government was derailed by a separate Tory revolt on the same legislation.
The bill is designed to speed up housebuilding, which is crucial to Mr Sunak’s growth agenda.
The two former prime ministers have had tense relationships with Mr Sunak.
Mr Johnson’s supporters view Mr Sunak as having dealt the fatal blow to his premiership by resigning as chancellor.
Ms Truss and Mr Sunak clashed repeatedly during the leadership race.
It is unusual for former leaders to oppose their successors, with Theresa May choosing the issue of partygate to make a rare criticism of Mr Johnson.
Mr Johnson signed the pro-onshore wind amendment, tabled by Simon Clarke, who was levelling up secretary under Ms Truss – even though he supported the ban, which has been in place since 2015, during his three years in office.
Ms Truss said she wanted to end the ban when she was in Number 10, because she believes the energy crisis means Britain needs more energy independence.
The onshore wind revolt is the second blow to Mr Sunak’s bill.
On Tuesday night, more than 50 Conservative MPs rebelled against his plans to impose centrally-dictated housebuilding targets – forcing the Prime Minister to delay the votes until December.
That revolt risked the prospect of Mr Sunak only being able to get the measure through with Labour support.
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