Twenty-five Conservative MPs have reportedly warned the Prime Minister that his rhetoric and actions around rolling back green policies risk splitting the party.
David Cameron met with a group of MPs on Friday, led by Laura Sandys the Thanet South MP who yesterday announced she would step down at the next election, as well as Climate Change Minister Greg Barker, Zac Goldsmith, Charles Hendry and Oliver Coleville.
Barker has stated that the group met Cameron to discuss "green challenges ahead" and to push for a strong environmental vision to be included in the next Conservative manifesto.
The MPs have become increasingly frustrated by Cameron's hostility towards environmental policies that have been blamed for creating deep investor uncertainty in the low carbon economy. Earlier this month he pledged to "roll back green levies", and reports last week suggested he told aides to get "rid of all the green crap", however Downing Street later said it did not recognise the comments.
Sources told The Times
the meeting became heated at points, with some traditionally loyal MPs warning Cameron that he risked losing support and splitting the party if he continued to renege on his commitment to the environment that in 2010 was marked by the campaign slogan "vote blue to go green".
"The real significance was that the 'other side', those who are sceptical, have tended to act as a bloc and have been quite rebellious, while those of us who support the green agenda can and have been taken for granted," one MP who attended the meeting said. "This was the first time we have flexed our muscles and it will have come as a shock."