George Osborne is putting off "green" development because he is trying to appeal to the "Jeremy Clarkson tendency", the president of the Liberal Democrats said yesterday.
Tim Farron publicly voiced the frustrations expressed privately by senior Liberal Democrat ministers that Mr Osborne is blocking clean energy initiatives that could replace ageing coal-fired power stations.
Speaking at a fringe meeting of the Liberal Democrat conference in Brighton, organised by The Independent in association with Royal & Sun Alliance, Mr Farron accused the Chancellor of sending "mixed messages" to businesses looking to invest in the UK and called for more radical policies to promote growth.
"Talk to Ed Davey, the Energy and Climate Change Secretary, and he will say companies are backing off from big green projects because they are getting mixed messages," said Mr Farron, MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale. "George Osborne is trying to appeal to the Jeremy Clarkson tendency."