Green Investment Bank sell-off ‘politically dubious’

Former energy secretary claims government is trying to “avoid parliamentary scrutiny”

Former energy secretary Ed Davey has the slammed the Green Investment Bank’s (GIB) eleventh hour sell-off as “politically dubious”.

Davey, who has also confirmed that he will be seeking the Liberal Democrat nomination to stand again in his old seat of Kingston and Surbiton, accused the government of “selling off the family silver”, after ministers confirmed today the GIB has been sold to the Macquarie Group in a deal worth £2.3 billion.

According to a statement by climate change minister, Nick Hurd, under new ownership the GIB will look to invest at least £3 billion into the UK’s green economy over the next three years.

“It now makes sense to move it into the private sector where it will be free from the constraints of public sector ownership,” said the minister.

But Davey said the move was “environmentally irresponsible” and “politically dubious” so close to parliament dissolving before the 8 June general election.

“The government clearly hopes to avoid parliamentary scrutiny,” claimed Davey.

“The toxic Tories are getting closer to Donald Trump every day and their record on renewable energy since 2015 has been pathetic.”

The chairman of the House of Commons’ Environmental Audit Committee, Mary Creagh, said the government has decided to sell the GIB off without “transparency or consideration of the alternatives”.

“Macquarie executives and government ministers need to give concrete guarantees about the ban’s future and the capital investments it will make,” insisted Creagh.

The GIB’s independent chair of GIB, Smith said the bank’s board believes Macquarie “can be a good owner of GIB and we support the Government’s decision to sell GIB to Macquarie”.

“We look forward to seeing these commitments from Macquarie delivered, in full, in the months and years ahead.

“GIB in private ownership can, and should, continue to play an important leadership role in supporting the global low carbon transition and the UK Government’s ambitious plans for a strengthened industrial strategy and emissions reduction,” added Lord Smith.

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