Friday, February 16, 2007

Press release: Legal challenge verdict

A judge yesterday ruled that the consultation process before making the decision last year had been "seriously flawed" and "procedurally unfair". Local Green Party spokesperson Bernice Golberg today described the court's decision as “historic”.

"I welcome the result today - and thank the many people involved, especially Greenpeace.Today's historic result shows that the government have got a fight on their hands. Despite their scheming, the combined efforts of many different organisations, including the Green Party has ensured that their ploy to bring in nuclear power by the back door has failed. The Energy Review was clearly just a rubber-stamping exercise for a decision the Prime Minister had already taken.”

Local Greens used street theatre to highlight the rubber stamping and to speculate why the then Energy Minister, Malcolm Wicks, went for the nuclear option. (1) They also collected signatures in Croydon Town Centre as part of an European wide campaign. (2)

"Some of our local members submitted evidence to this case, pointing out that there had been a failure to present clear proposals and information on key issues. We are glad the high court judge has joined us in objecting to this sham consultation. The government will now have to abandon the conclusions of the Energy Review, and we are looking forward to taking part in a full debate on how we use and generate electricity in the UK. We hope that this time the government listens to common sense and the views of ordinary people and rejects the expensive and dangerous route of nuclear power. There are huge opportunities in energy-saving and renewable energy just begging to be taken up. Ten million homes still have unfilled cavity walls in the UK and we are failing to take advantage of the massive wind and wave power resources that are unique to our islands. If the government doesn't have the vision to grab these opportunities, they will not be forgiven.”


(1) Figures published by the Electoral Commission showed money flooded in to the Labour Party from energy companies and lobbying firms linked to the nuclear industry. Crucially, the cash donations give the pro-nuclear lobby access to decision makers.

EDF Energy, which has 58 nuclear reactors across Europe, gave Labour £6000 in 2005. In the same period, lobbying firm Weber Shadwick whose clients include British Nuclear Fuels gave Labour £19,500. Two weeks after Mr Blair’s now infamous ‘vengeance’ speech to the Confederation of British Industry, Sovereign Strategy, which represents US Nuclear firm Fluor, gave Labour £8000. Fluor is hoping to win a stake in the £70 billion British nuclear waste market.

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