Ed Miliband accuses of Lib Dems of 'ducking' difficult issues at special debate organised by Guardian
Important differences between the major parties on the environment emerged last night, as they clashed over nuclear power, wind farms, expanding flying, and the number of climate change sceptics in their ranks. Despite similar-sounding manifestos, Labour's climate and energy secretary Ed Miliband and his Conservative and Liberal Democrat shadow spokesmen attacked each other's policies at a special debate organised by the Guardian.
On the Labour government's planned expansion of Heathrow airport – which is opposed by the other two parties – Tory spokesman Greg Clark was forced to deny his party wants to expand another airport in the south-east. It is an idea supported by at least one shadow cabinet colleague and the Tory London mayor Boris Johnson. Speaking at the Guardian's special green hustings, Clark said: "We have no plans to build another runway in the south-east." Aviation critics, however, pointed out that this did not rule out increasing the use of a smaller airport such as Luton.
While Labour and the Conservatives agreed on new nuclear power stations, Miliband accused the Lib Dems of "ducking" difficult issues, and asked their spokesman Simon Hughes to explain how his party would meet their pledge to cut electricity emissions without it.
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