Scottish Tory MSP votes against own party on environment

The Tory amendment fell by 28 votes to 88 while the Government motion passed by 88 votes to 29.

Scottish Tory MSP Maurice Golden votes against own party on environment PA Media

Scottish Tory MSP Maurice Golden has voted against an amendment from his own party on the environment.

Golden raised his head above the parapet on Sunday, criticising the Prime Minister’s watering down of climate pledges last week and accusing him of dragging the environment into the “culture wars”.

On Tuesday, he voted against a Tory amendment to a Scottish Government motion in a debate on the climate, with his party saying “net zero goals must be affordable and should not impose expensive costs on households and businesses”.

In a Downing Street speech last week, Rishi Sunak pushed back the ban on new petrol and diesel cars, weakened the plan to phase out gas boilers from 2035 – so households that will struggle the most to switch to heat pumps will not have to make the change – and scrapped the requirement for energy efficiency upgrades to homes.

Speaking to ITV Border ahead of the debate, Golden was asked if he could support his party’s amendment.

“I won’t,” he said.

“It’s an unfortunate situation for me because I’ve supported every amendment and motion of my party, and indeed enforced the rules as chief whip under Ruth Davidson.”

He added: “I feel incredibly sad, it’s disappointing.

“I think there was a way in which the (amendment) could have been constructed that would have allowed me to support, but through discussion that decision was not taken.”

The Tory amendment to the motion fell by 28 votes to 88 while the motion passed by 86 to 29.

Golden also voted against the Government’s motion which said it “deeply regrets … the unilateral reversal of policies set out by the UK Government on 20 September 2023” and “urges the UK Government to listen to overwhelming feedback and rethink what is an unforgivable betrayal of current and future generations, and calls for a new, mutually respectful four-nations partnership in meeting one of the most significant challenges facing people and the planet in this century”.

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