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Tories switching to Labour say Rishi Sunak isn’t green enough

The majority of Tory voters who plan to switch to Labour in the next election think that Rishi Sunak has not done enough on climate change, according to polling that comes as the Conservatives consider rowing back on green policies.

Clean energy industry figures said the results showed that the idea that environmental policies are unpopular was “totally unfounded”.

Polling of 3,000 adults by Opinium found that, for voters who voted Tory in 2019 and planned to vote Labour next year, 57 per cent felt the prime minister had “not gone far enough” on tackling climate change. Only 9 per cent thought he had gone too far, 25 per cent thought he had it about right and 10 per cent did not know.

“This polling is a ‘wake up and smell the coffee’ moment for the siren voices arguing that watering down the government’s green growth agenda will be a vote winner — it clearly won’t,” said Alok Sharma, the Tory MP who chaired the Cop26 climate conference in Glasgow two years ago.

Several Tory MPs have urged Sunak not to backtrack on green policies. Sir Simon Clarke pointed to Jaguar Land Rover’s investment last week in an electric vehicle battery plant as a reason not to water down the 2030 car ban. “Delaying the target risks losing UK jobs and industry overseas,” he said.

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