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I'm told Boris Johnson was left scratching his head when he read The Independent this morning. Brown announced a new initiative on the promotion of electric cars. Nothing wrong with that, except that it was a carbon copy of an initiative launched by Boris in January, and since then he has been having meetings with Geoff Hoon, Peter Mandelson and Brown himself on the issue. There had been an agreement that there would be a joint announcement once officials had worked out the detail. But The Independent reports this morning...
In an exclusive interview with The Independent, the Prime Minister trailed measures to make Britain "a world leader" in producing and exporting electric cars, hybrid petrol-electric vehicles and lighter cars using less petrol. Alistair Darling, the Chancellor, will announce in his Budget that trials for electric cars in two or three cities will begin next year. He added that the Government would provide incentives to help the car industry become a market leader across the world for electric and hybrid cars.Gordon Brown has cut Boris out of the equation and seems determined to take the credit himself. That's politics, I guess. Boris is said to be far from amused. He had viewed this as an issue which could best be tackled with a joint and joined up approach. What he didn't bargain with was the political opportunism of our Prime Minister. I doubt whether it will happen a second time.
UPDATE: A source tell me this is the timeline of meetings between Boris and government ministers...
21 January 09 discussion with Hoon
27 January 09 Letter to Hoon
19 Feb Note from Boris to PM’s PS saying BJ wants to discuss EV s with PM
25 Feb Meeting with PM
6 March Meeting with Mandelson
24 March Meeting with Hoon
6 April Note to Hoon