Portsmouth MPs celebrate as Government rejects Aquind cross-Channel cable linked to Tory party donor

The stop Aquind protest
Campaigners fought against the 148 miles of electricity cable under Portsmouth. Credit: ITV News Meridian

A cross-Channel power cable project linked to a Conservative Party donor has been rejected by the Government.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng on Thursday dismissed Aquind’s plans to provide a new electricity link that would have connected Portsmouth and Normandy in France.

The proposal was controversial, prompting a former energy minister to recuse herself from the process over funding from one of the company’s owners.

Alexander Temerko, a British citizen who was born in the former Soviet Union, has donated more than £1 million to the Tories and is listed as a director of Aquind Limited.

A letter published on the Planning Inspectorate website showed Mr Kwarteng decided to “refuse development consent” having considered his obligations under the energy National Policy Statement.

Trade minister Penny Mordaunt, the MP for Portsmouth North, celebrated the decision, tweeting “we did it”.

Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan, a Labour frontbencher, said: “The Government have finally seen sense and stopped the disastrous Aquind project.

“This is a victory for the people of Portsmouth over years of uncertainty and Tory cronyism.”

Berwick-upon-Tweed MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan, now the International Trade Secretary, removed herself from the process in July over funding received by Northumberland Conservatives.

In 2020, Mr Temerko told MPs that Russian-linked businessmen have “zero” political influence.

His remarks came amid concerns about the influence of Russian-linked oligarchs in the highest echelons of British business and politics.