Steve Barclay Faces Scrutiny Over Alleged Failure to Disclose Conflict of Interest
Steve Barclay Faces Scrutiny...
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Steve Barclay Faces Scrutiny Over Alleged Failure to Disclose Conflict of Interest

22 March 2024
2 min.
Steve Barclay Faces Scrutiny Over Alleged Failure to Disclose Conflict of Interest

Waste Incineration Woes

The UK Environment Secretary, Steve Barclay, is under scrutiny for allegedly failing to disclose a potential conflict of interest related to a proposed waste incineration facility in his electoral constituency. This ongoing issue has brought attention to Barclay's stance on the waste-to-energy project in Wisbech, positioned to become a leading incinerator facility in Europe.

Barclay has been vocal in his opposition to the waste-to-energy plant, highlighting its adverse effects on the local area. Despite his objections, MVV Environment, a German energy firm, is moving forward with plans for the incinerator, intending to convert non-recyclable waste into usable energy. The facility boasts significant capacity, capable of processing over 600,000 tonnes of waste annually and generating up to 50MW of power.

Recent developments saw Barclay's cabinet colleague, Claire Coutinho, greenlighting the scheme in her capacity as energy secretary. However, the project's fate also hinges on approval from the Environment Agency, a body overseen by Barclay himself.

Government Response and Opposition Reaction

Reports emerged that officials within the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs raised concerns about Barclay's potential conflict of interest, prompting discussions with the Cabinet Office's ethics team. While the department asserts Barclay's recusal from the decision-making process, questions linger regarding communication with the Environment Agency.

Steve Reed, Labour's shadow environment secretary, condemned the situation, accusing Barclay of leveraging his position for personal gain. Reed's call for transparency underscores public expectations of ministers serving the nation's interests above their own.

Ongoing Investigation and No. 10's Response

Amid mounting scrutiny, inquiries intensify into the timeline of Barclay's recusal and communication with officials. No. 10 Downing Street declined to provide specifics, citing the common practice of ministers balancing constituency duties with governmental roles.

Persons3 and Companies3 in the news

Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
1 place
Shadow Secretary of State for Justice Shadow Lord Chancellor
2 place
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
3 place
Cabinet Office
3 place
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