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Now Truss’s investment zones are up for review

Michael Gove
Michael Gove: environmental concern

Tax beneficial investment zones could be the latest of Liz Truss’s policies to be ditched after Michael Gove confirmed they were under review.

The zones were meant to be full throttle freeports, but there were concerns that they would mean cutting through various environmental regulations.

Mr Gove, brought back into government as the Levelling Up Secretary, told TV viewers that anything that would undermine the environment ‘is out’.

‘We need to make sure that any change that we make is one which of course helps to support economic growth and good jobs for people, but also one of the concerns raised about investment zones was the impact on the environment,” he said.

‘I’ve been very clear and the Prime Minister has been very clear that under no circumstances will we weaken environmental protections.

“So I will be looking with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with the Environment Secretary and with the Prime Minister at the proposals that were drawn up when Liz was prime minister… and anything that might in any way undermine environmental protections is out.”

He hinted that the HS2 rail project will also be looked at again, although the government regards it as a “significant investment”.

He explained: “As Rishi (Sunak) said, we need to be straight with people: the cost of materials has increased because of the problems with global supply chains and also a very tight labour market means that the capacity to build those homes at the rate we want is constrained.”

Mr Gove offered an apology to the election of Ms Truss who spent just 49 days in Downing Street.

He admitted the government had taken a “holiday from reality”.

Opinium research carried out between Wednesday and Friday found Tory support was on 28%, up five on the previous week. Labour was down six points to 44%.

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