Boris Johnson and Liz Truss join Tory rebellion against Rishi Sunak on wind farms

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Boris Johnson and Liz Truss both signed an amendment to the Government Increase and Regeneration Act - Evan Vucci/AFP via Getty Images
Boris Johnson and Liz Truss have challenged Rishi Sunak's authority by joining a Tory rebellion supporting wind farms to deal with the energy crisis.
In their first major interventions since leaving Downing Street, the two ex-Prime Ministers have called for an end to the ban on new onshore wind farms.
They both signed an amendment to the Government's Raise and Regeneration Bill just days after Mr Sunak's government was derailed by a separate Tory revolt over the same legislation.
The bill aims to speed up housing construction, which is vital to Mr Sunak's growth agenda.
The two former prime ministers had strained relations with Mr Sunak.
Mr Johnson's supporters see Mr Sunak as a fatal blow to his position as prime minister by resigning as chancellor.
Ms. Truss and Mr. Sunak repeatedly clashed during the lead race.
It is unusual for former leaders to oppose their successors, with Theresa May choosing the subject of Partygate to deliver a rare criticism of Mr Johnson.
"We should seize the moment"
Mr Johnson signed the onshore wind amendment tabled by Simon Clarke, who rose to become secretary under Ms Truss - although he supported the ban, which has been in place since 2015, during his three-year tenure.
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Ms Truss said she wanted to end the ban when she was in Number 10 because she believes the energy crisis means Britain needs more energy independence.
Mr Clarke told The Telegraph on Thursday: "I am extremely grateful to all colleagues across the Conservative Party who have campaigned for this amendment, particularly Boris and Liz.
“Onshore wind is the cheapest form of power generation available to us and is right for both our energy security and the environment.
“My change means that this would only be possible with explicit community consent, without developers having a right of appeal if a council says no.
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"I strongly believe we should seize the moment - not least because a future Labor government would not include equivalent protections of community consent if it lifted the current ban, which it undoubtedly would."
The onshore wind revolt is the second blow to Mr. Sunak's bill.
On Tuesday night, more than 50 Conservative MPs rebelled against his plans to push through centrally-dictated housing targets - forcing the prime minister to postpone voting until December.
This revolt risked the prospect that Mr Sunak could only push the measure through with Labor Party support.
The recent rebellion is likely to be even more serious - not only because it has attracted support from two former Prime Ministers, but because Labor is seen as more likely to support measures to boost onshore wind.
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As of Thursday evening, a total of 18 Conservative MPs had signed the amendment.
It is calling for Michael Gove, the current Leveling Up Secretary, to revise the National Planning Policy Framework to allow councils to authorize new onshore wind applications.
The change would also force an amendment to the Cities and Land Use Act to allow for the construction of "new onshore wind sites not previously used to generate wind energy, or to repower existing onshore wind applications."
Onshore wind is a touchstone for the Tories.
Complaints from residents in areas where they were built, often in rural Conservative constituencies, have prompted the party leadership to take a critical stance.
In 2014, David Cameron said the public was "fed up" with the turbines and vowed not to subsidize them if the Conservatives won the upcoming general election.
The 2019 Conservative Manifesto mentions expanding offshore but not onshore wind.
Boris Johnson 'almost served in Liz Truss' cabinet'
News of the rebellion - just a month after Mr Sunak entered Number 10 - comes as journalist Sebastian Payne's new book, The Fall of Boris Johnson, which claims Mr Johnson almost served as Foreign Secretary in Mrs Truss's cabinet .
Ms Truss met the former PM twice during this summer's leadership contest, revealed Mr Payne.
The pair also spoke on the phone in the last week of July - when Mr Johnson was still Prime Minister - where they actually discussed a job swap should she win the competition.
She suggested he could return to the Foreign Office, where he had served from 2016 to 2018, to focus on the war in Ukraine. But in the end, the couple decided that such an arrangement would be too complicated.
Mrs Truss and Mr Johnson also had breakfast at Mr Johnson's Downing Street flat on 29 July.
Her allies said he gave her plenty of "good advice", which was followed by a later visit to Checkers with political thoughts on the campaign.
The book revealed that such invitations were not addressed to Mr. Sunak.
Both Mr Sunak and Ms Truss were repeatedly asked during the leadership campaign if they would offer Mr Johnson a position in their government.
Speaking at a debate, Ms Truss said: "I very much suspect he doesn't want any future role in government, he needs a well-deserved break.
"I'm sure he'll play a role, I'm sure he'll be vocal, but he won't be part of government."
Mr Sunak said: “The simple answer for me is no. We have to look ahead at this point, we have to bring about changes that people need.”
Earlier this week, despite their discussions about a job offer, Mr Johnson compared Ms Truss' mini-budget to a poorly played piano in reference to a sketch by Morecambe and Wise.
The Telegraph is also able to reveal that Ms Truss plans to run in the next election to continue her career as a Conservative MP, despite being ousted by Number 10, according to former aides.
Ms Truss is said to have rejected the approach of Sir Tony Blair and Mr Cameron, who were quick to leave Parliament after announcing her resignation.
Instead, Ms Truss is aiming for a post-No. 10 career, more in line with Theresa May, who continues to speak regularly in the House of Commons five years after stepping down as Prime Minister.
Tory MPs have been urged to decide before December 5 whether to re-contend for their seat or step down in the next general election, which is expected in 2024.
Chloe Smith, the former Secretary of Labor and Pensions, and William Wragg, vice-chairman of the 1922 backbenchers' committee, both announced this week that they will not stand in the next general election.
It has been speculated that up to 80 of the nearly 360 Tory MPs could choose not to stand for re-election.

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