Energy minister comes not-so-clean when quizzed about her own green credentials
Watch: Claire Perry admitted she drives a diesel car.
Claire Perry is throwing herself into her job as energy minister. The Conservative MP has tasked government advisors with setting out a strategy to virtually eliminate carbon emissions within 30 years. But what steps is she personally taking to help achieve that laudable goal?
Asked by Sky News what kind of car she drove, Perry started off strongly by announcing that she did a lot of cycling in London. But then she dropped a bombshell.
"I do have a diesel car at the moment, a small diesel," she confessed.
Presumably aware that researchers recently found the health damage from diesel vehicle emissions are about 20 times greater than from electric vehicles and five times more than petrol vehicles, the minister then made a desperate bid to salvage her green credentials.
“I’m pretty sure my next car is going to be an electric one and I’m actually committing this week to go and test drive an electric vehicle,” she pledged.
Perry also revealed that she had recently switched energy suppliers and was now on a green energy tarrif. She came unstuck again when asked if she had solar panels on her house. But at least she had an excuse ready.
"No, I haven’t because I don’t have a south-facing roof and it wouldn’t make a lot of sense," she said.
Alas this excuse didn't quite wash with the Solar Trade Association, which told TP that north, east and west solar facing panels could still generate enough electricity with the right technology in place.
CEO Chris Hewett Said: "Although systems installed on south-facing roofs yield the best results, PV arrays can be installed on any orientation and will provide an output. PV arrays installed on east and west facing roofs can provide more benefit than south facing roofs when there is less need for electricity during the middle of the day (for instance, when your day is spent out of the house at work in Westminster).
"Our advice to anyone interested in installing solar panels would be to contact a reputable local installer - we would be happy to provide Claire Perry with some contact details."