August 3, 2013

Planning minister, Nick Boles, loses control of wind farm policy as his brother works for turbine manufacturer

Nigel Morris | The Independent | 02 August 2013 |

The planning minister has lost powers over wind farm policy because his brother works for a major turbine manufacturer, it has been disclosed.

Nick Boles was put in charge of guidance over their location when he was promoted to the Government nearly a year ago.

At that time his brother, Jonathan Boles, was working in Germany as a senior executive with Siemens Wind Power.

Upon his return to Britain in April, civil servants decided their minister should be stripped of authority over wind farms. Responsibility for wind farms was passed to Mark Prisk, the housing minister.

The Department for Communities and Local Government said it wanted to “avoid the perception of any potential conflict of interest”.

There was no official announcement of the decision in April and the register of ministers’ interests has not been updated for more than 18 months.

Friends of Mr Boles said he had been a critic of onshore wind farms being put up close to homes.

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