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Where was local MP for warm homes vote? Lib Dems ask.

March 25, 2009 9:00 AM

Hinckley and Bosworth Liberal Democrats are asking where Bosworth's MP David Tredinnick was on Friday when MPs voted on a new parliamentary bill aimed at ending fuel poverty.

The Bill was just 11 votes short of the number it needed to make progress.

Just one in ten Conservative MPs and one in fourteen Labour MPs were in Parliament to support the Bill. Nearly three quarters of Lib Dems were present but it was not enough to stop the Government blocking the Bill.

Michael Mullaney Liberal Democrat parliamentary spokesperson for Hinckley and Bosworth said:

"The Fuel Poverty Bill was 'talked out' by the Government on Friday because not enough MPs turned up to support it. It needed 100 MPs but it only got 89.

"This is a crying shame. With millions of people across Britain struggling to afford to heat their homes, this Bill is desperately needed. Here in Hinckley and Bosworth alone it has been estimated that more than 6,000 households are in fuel poverty.

"With such a narrow margin of failure it is really disappointing that Bosworth's MP David Tredinnick was not in Parliament to support this important Bill.

"The Bill, which is being proposed by Liberal Democrat MP David Heath, would deliver a massive home insulation programme which would halve the energy needed to heat the average home. And it would end the scandal of those who use pre-pay meters - generally the least well-off - paying higher rates for their gas and electricity.

"Our best hope now is to put as much pressure as possible on the Government to change their minds and support the Bill. Without government support I am afraid it looks doomed."

Campaign groups such as Consumer Focus and Age Concern have condemned the Government for blocking the Bill's progress. Help the Aged have said that, "Millions of older people… will be devastated and dismayed by this result."