Business secretary misses committee hearing on energy transition

The business secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, has avoided scrutiny by MPs on the UK phase out of fossil fuels.

Environmental Audit Committee, 20 July 2022. Photo from Parliament Live TV

The minister failed to attend the Environmental Audit Committee this afternoon, giving no reason or apology.

He is the third cabinet member to pull out of an attendance at a parliamentary committee this month.

Mr Kwarteng wrote to the committee chair, Philip Dunne, this morning to say he could no longer appear at the meeting.

He offered to rearrange his appearance for the autumn – though he may not be in post when the new prime minister is appointed.

Mr Dunne tweeted that Mr Kwarteng had agreed to appear before the committee on 13 June 2022, adding:

“This is not the way for senior Ministers to treat scrutiny”.

DrillOrDrop asked Mr Kwarteng’s department why the secretary of state had failed to attend. A spokesperson for BEIS said:

“Ministerial diaries are always subject to change and unforeseen urgent issues. We have asked the committee to find an alternative time at its earliest convenience once the House returns.

“Since becoming a BEIS minister, the Secretary of State has appeared before parliamentary committees on 16 occasions, including twice before the Environmental Audit Committee.”

Earlier this month, the home secretary, Priti Patel, and the justice secretary, Dominic Raab, pulled out of committee hearings.

21 replies »

  1. And as expected, it is the reality that is moderated, whilst the fake news is allowed to persist.

    Hey ho, I recall that was raised as a concern when the system was introduced. Not interpretation, just a concern that was the way it would develop being too tempting to resist when facts became inconvenient. And a fake claim regarding a fairy story remains, which is obviously fake, as it did not happen, and even quoted to show it did not happen-yet remains. This “interpretation” is interesting stuff., but can only attempt to excite, not inform.

    I will try and keep to facts. They may be inconvenient, and dull, but at the end of the day it will be facts that determine outcomes. Like I lost someone loved and very close due to the impact of the pandemic, yet I am unable to come up with how that could have been avoided under the circumstances at the time, neither could our family and friends, and neither could they, right to the end, so still find it insulting to me, the memory of my loved one, my family, friends and everyone in the NHS who did the best they could under the circumstances whilst others find it convenient to forget the circumstances. And for what? To try and justify fake news. Others can make up their own minds, mine would just be moderated.

    • Martin

      Your comments were moderated because they broke DrillOrDrop guidelines, criticising the poster, rather than engaging with the arguments.

      There were two moderations in your previous post:

      The first (near the beginning) removed the text ” Really is a childish playground technique.”
      The second (at the end) removed the text “A forgetful political activist trying to make capital out of people dying, and not even bothered to get their facts correct whilst doing so. Well, 1720, shame on you.”

      I don’t believe either of these removals affected your account of the facts as you saw them.

      • And the fake news is allowed to persist, Paul. That is a fact for all to see-still.

        That is your choice, and obviously what your priority is, although somewhat selective, as you have also asked me to validate the accuracy of what I have posted on several occasions, on far less sensitive issues. (Which, I could, on each occasion.)

        We have had this discussion at least three times before, so I do not expect any change. I would though, have hoped that on a thread of discussion that was so sensitive to so many people, not just myself but thousands and thousands, that your moderation could have at least taken into account that accurate information was being supplied.

  2. It clearly has not occurred to you, Martin, that the missing PPE might just include faulty PPE, every bit as ‘not available for use’ as no PPE. I’m not trying to deflect, Martin, why should I. Once again, I’m merely trying to promote ratiocination -failing as usual. {Edited by moderator]

    [Typo corrected at poster’s request]

    • Oh, it occurred to me, 1720, except the discussion was actually around faulty PPE. So, no fairy tale discussion. More interpretation?

      If you wanted to discuss missing PPE, or shortages of PPE, maybe you would like to start and try and recall the situation regarding shortages of PPE? I seem to remember a global shortage and scramble by most countries to try and find what they could, wherever they could and sod the price they may have to pay if they found a consignment that they had to commit to immediately otherwise it would go to someone else. I seem to remember Civil Servants being re-allocated to try and beef up that acquisition process and I don’t really expect many of them would have been that experienced in doing that sort of job, but worked flat out to do the best they could. And, then maybe got p***ed on a Friday night. I am not convinced that not getting p***ed would have produced any more PPE, as I know lots of more professional buyers in the private sector who have a tendency to get p***ed on a Friday night, often in celebration of actually having had a successful week.

      Goodness me, there was even a shortage of vaccine at one point! Shock/horror, someone needs to be blamed for that? I am sure they will be by some who were busy thinking about it whilst on their Peletons at the time. (Other forms of mindless activity were/are available.) Apart from Ursula, of course, who will not be blamed as it was known her management of such issues was pretty poor before she was appointed.

      Perhaps there was a better solution you could offer, with hindsight, 1720? I expect there is one, that would involve having a local supply chain, except having such a huge supply chain when the majority of time there is only a little demand does have bigger issues of cost, and waste than what it might replace. I could even envisage more getting p***ed on a Friday night as a relief from their weeks and years and decades of thumb twiddling, wondering whether their supply chain may not work if chemicals companies wanting to expand in Antwerp and supply such industry are stopped from doing so.

      Perhaps that is why you would have avoided discussing shortages but focused upon faulty?

  3. Had I got beyond your first response Martin, I would have phrased mine differently. So please accept my condolences for the loss you suffered.

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