Rishi Sunak is facing a bruising PMQs clash with Keir Starmer today as he wrestles to defuse Tory infighting

Rishi Sunak faces bruising PMQs clash with Keir Starmer as he wrestles to defuse Tory civil war over online wind farms and housing

  • Rishi Sunak will run the gauntlet of PMQs amid bout of renewed Tory infighting
  • The premier is trying to defuse rows over onshore wind farms and housebuilding
  • Polls have shown the Tories more than 20 points behind Keir Starmer’s Labour   

Rishi Sunak is facing a bruising PMQs clash with Keir Starmer today as he wrestles to defuse Tory infighting.

Mr Sunak will run the gauntlet of the Commons with factions of his own party at war on key issues including onshore wind farms and housebuilding targets.

Dozens of MPs have backed an amendment to the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill that would end the effective ban on onshore wind developments – but they are facing a rearguard action from traditionalists.

Meanwhile, 58 Conservatives have now signed an amendment to the same legislation that would make any housebuilding targets ‘advisory’, sparking a furious response from Red Wall MPs.

The premier has given himself time to soothe the tensions by delaying the critical votes, although they could still happen before Christmas.

Rishi Sunak is facing a bruising PMQs clash with Keir Starmer today as he wrestles to defuse Tory infighting

Rishi Sunak is facing a bruising PMQs clash with Keir Starmer today as he wrestles to defuse Tory infighting

Labour has been leading by 20 points or more in recent polls

Labour has been leading by 20 points or more in recent polls

However, it underlines the parlous state of the party after the brutal oustings of Boris Johnson and then Liz Truss in quick succession. Labour has been leading by 20 points or more in recent polls.  

Alongside the rows over wind farms and housing, former Cabinet minister David Davis has also led 50 MPs calling for a tougher stance on migrant Channel crossings.

And Mr Sunak has been facing a backlash over claims he is ‘appeasing’ China rather than taking a tough approach.   

Jacob Rees-Mogg – a frequent critic of Mr Sunak – has appealed for discontented MPs to hold back.  

Recalling the chaotic final days of John Major’s government, Mr Rees-Mogg said Conservatives who rebelled ‘did slightly worse rather than slightly better’ in the 1997 general election.

He said: ‘You don’t help your own seat by making life difficult for the Government. You just make it more difficult for everybody and so I think these rebellions are ill-advised.’

On his latest Moggcast on the ConservativeHome website, he also suggested that Liz Truss’s Budget U-turns ‘made it all worse’ as he skewered his former boss, saying the ‘only thing of note’ about her premiership ‘is the brevity of it’.

Former minister Simon Clarke, whose amendment to unleash onshore wind is backed by Boris Johnson and Liz Truss, has warned the Government that ‘we have the votes’ to inflict a defeat.

Jacob Rees-Mogg - a frequent critic of Mr Sunak - has appealed for discontented MPs to hold back

Jacob Rees-Mogg – a frequent critic of Mr Sunak – has appealed for discontented MPs to hold back

However, Business Secretary Grant Shapps told the Commons yesterday that offshore wind was cheaper given the size of modern turbines.

‘These single turbines are seven football pitches in scope as they turn. These turbines are now so large, they can’t even be constructed onshore. They are so big, the turbines wouldn’t be able to be carried by roads,’ he said.

Tory MPs on the right of the party oppose the move, even where companies gain local consent.

Sir John Hayes, a Tory MP in Lincolnshire, said: ‘We don’t want them, we don’t want our landscape littered by huge industrial concrete structures. We either care about the countryside, or we don’t.’

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