Oliver Dowden has been brutally mocked for a bizarre speech in which he he heralded the “calm suburbia of Hertfordshire”.
The Tory party chair was criticised last week for claiming that the government will step back from “net zero dogma” just months after the UK played host to the COP26 climate summit.
Dowden had claimed it was up to the Conservatives to “deliver energy independence for the first time in a generation”.
He said: “Of course that means investing massively on off-shore wind and other renewables, but it must also mean developing new nuclear projects and re-incentivising oil and gas exploration in this country as we transition.
“Because do you know what? I really think the British people want to see a bit more Conservative pragmatism, and a bit less net zero dogma.”
‘Privet hedges of freedom’
But Dowden went one better in a speech to the Conservatives’ spring conference in Blackpool, extolling the virtues of “the privet hedges of suburbia”.
He said: “As I walk with my children through the calm suburbia of Hertfordshire, its values so derided by the left, I actually reflect on the great fortune we have to live in a nation defined by stability, security… and, yes, Conservatism.
“For me, the privet hedges of suburbia are the privet hedges of a free people. And I will make it my mission as Chairman to defend those values and those freedoms”.
Unsurprisingly, Dowden was torn apart on social media for his “gloriously bad” comments, with one onlooker describing it as “the most idiotic thing I’ve seen for a while”.
Here’s some of the best reaction.