Conservative MP and host clash over deadline to ban gas boilers
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Conservative MP Anthony Browne was put on the spot by Emily Maitlis over Boris Johnson’s gas boiler ban, saying that it is the “ambition” of Number 10 to ban the sale of new gas boilers by 2035. The grilling came after the PM confirmed £5,000 grants for thousands of Brits to replace gas boilers with more eco-friendly heat pumps.
Mr Browne told the Newsnight host: “The ambition to or the target to ban the sale of new gas boilers by 2035 is the first in the world for this type of any major country.
“And it’s been welcomed by environment groups,
“The commitment to get gas…
Emily Maitlis interjected: “But it’s not in there, the ban wasn’t in there.
“Is that going ahead?”
The MP continued: “So the target of the Government is to ban the sale, to stop the sale of new gas boilers by 2035.”
But Ms Maitlis cut him off again: “Just to get to the bottom of this, the expectation was that they were going to be banned, the sale, by 2033.
“And now it’s just become this ambition for the end of 2035.
“If that’s not watered down what is?”
Mr Browne said: “Well, I don’t know the stories about 2033.
“They’ve announced this now-it’s world-leading to get heat pumps to be cost equivalent to gas boilers so that they’re fully competitive by 2030.
“Again, that’s a huge step and a huge commitment- This whole thing will pump prime the heat pump industry to kickstart it.”
He continued: “And that is big commitment here today.
“And we don’t necessarily know at this stage exactly how much money is needed, because you don’t know how quickly the prices will come down.”
By 2025 builders will be banned from fitting conventional gas boilers in new-build homes.
Writing in The Sun, Prime Minister Boris Johnson sought to reassure householders they would not have to rip out their existing boilers.
He said: “While we’re going to have to make some pretty major changes to the way we heat our homes, the Greenshirts of the Boiler Police are not going to kick in your door with their sandal-clad feet and seize, at carrot-point, your trusty old combi.”
Instead, he said that the plan was to make low-carbon systems such as heat pumps cheaper so it made sense to install the clean alternatives when boilers naturally needed replacing.
The moves form part of the heat and buildings strategy being published on Tuesday, along with the Government’s wider plans to cut UK climate emissions to net-zero overall by 2050 to tackle climate change.
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