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Bournemouth MP criticises minister’s ‘risible’ reply over Navitus Bay wind farm concerns

A Bournemouth MP has criticised a government minister’s “risible” response to concerns about the impact of the proposed Navitus Bay wind farm.

Conor Burns, Conservative MP for Bournemouth West, said culture minister Ed Vaizey failed to respond to any of the specific questions put to him during a Parliamentary debate, despite being given details in advance.

Mr Burns said: “I thought Wednesday night showed the very best of Parliament and the very worst of government.

“You had local MPs all uniting to put pressure on the Government over an issue of profound level of concern and you had a ministerial reply which was risible, that didn’t address directly any of the six questions that I deliberately directly put.

“I had done him the courtesy of ringing him to tell him the direct questions I was going to put to him. I was profoundly disappointed in the inadequacy of his reply.”

He said the Department of Culture, Media and Sport had a statutory obligation to protect the interests of Britain’s only natural world heritage site and said the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, which advises UNESCO, had advised the assessment carried out by Navitus was “flawed”.

“The minister just swept over that,” he said.

“This raises questions on the credibility and objectivity of the assessment.

“Frankly what I now intend to do is seek a meeting with the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and ask him to have a review of his department’s handling of the letter of concern from this organisation.”