Aquind: MP calls says Portsmouth is “long overdue clarity” on the Interconnector project

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The people of Portsmouth are “long overdue clarity” on the Aquind Interconnector project, Stephen Morgan MP has said.

Speaking in the House of Commons yesterday, the Portsmouth South Labour MP told ministers that Portsmouth residents have “waited too long” for the project to be redetermined after the high court overturned the government’s decision to block the project last year. The Aquind project involves laying interconnector cables linking Portsmouth and Normandy in France. The cables would make landfall in Eastney, and proceed to a substation in Lovedean. The MP also raised concerns over the project’s financing and ties to the Conservative Party as Alexander Temerko, Aquind’s public face, has made significant donations to the party.

He said: “Will the co-owner donating over £1m to the Tories – including donating £6,000 to the Prime Minister’s constituency party and over £70,000 to the Chancellor – factor into the Minister’s decision on this disastrous project for Portsmouth?”

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A 'Let's Stop Aquind' walking protest against Aquind in July 2021  Picture: Sam StephensonA 'Let's Stop Aquind' walking protest against Aquind in July 2021  Picture: Sam Stephenson
A 'Let's Stop Aquind' walking protest against Aquind in July 2021 Picture: Sam Stephenson

Government ministers responded by saying the decision is part of a live planning application and, as set out in planning guidance, no further information could be given. The question comes as Let’s Stop Aquind (LSA) campaigners wrote to the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero urging her to refuse the scheme.

An LSA spokesperson said the campaign group welcomes Morgan’s statement. “As a grassroots movement representing thousands of city’s residents, we are equally keen to see a closure to this unnecessary project. Our local environmental, socio-economic and health concerns are bad enough. Stephen Morgan has highlighted the national and political issues that surely must sound the death knell for this unneeded project. We have lived far too long under the threat of Aquind Interconnector.”

Commenting, Stephen Morgan, added: ”Portsmouth people are long overdue clarity and confirmation on whether this project will go ahead, given the disastrous consequences it will have on our city. The Government came to the correct decision almost two years ago. The facts have not changed and our concerns have only grown. That’s why I am calling on Ministers to again deliver the right decision as soon as possible. I will continue to work with Let’s Stop Aquind campaigners to make this happen”.