Craig Mackinlay



Craig Mackinlay has been the Conservative MP for South Thanet since 2015.5MPs and Lords; South Thanet – 2015 General Election,” UK Parliament. Archived December 7, 2021. Archive URL:

Mackinlay was one of the founders of the Anti-Federalist Party, which later became the UK Independence Party (UKIP), serving as the leader of UKIP in 1997 and as deputy leader from 1997 to 2000. Macklinay joined the Conservative Party in 2005.6About Craig,” Craig Mackinlay MP. Archived October 28, 2021. Archive URL: 7Ex-UKIP leader to stand as Tory MP for Thanet South,” BBC News. Archived January 21, 2019. Archive URL: 

Mackinlay has become a leading critic of the government’s plans to decarbonise the economy and reach net zero emissions by 2050. Macklinay leads the Net Zero Scrutiny Group, a loose alliance of MPs which was set up by Tory MP and former Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) Trustee Steve Baker.8Anushka Asthana. “Tory backbenchers prepare to fight cost of net zero greenhouse gas emissions,” itv News, July 31, 2021. Archived September 17, 2021. Archive URL: 9Isabel Hardman. “Green issues expose Tory division and loner Boris Johnson’s distance from his party,” The Guardian, August 15, 2021. Archived December 7, 2021. Archive URL: 

Mackinlay has indicated that the Net Zero Scrutiny Group will use research and publications from the GWPF to inform its discussions about net zero policies in the UK.10Jess Shankleman and Alex Morales. “Boris Johnson’s Ambition for Climate Deal Hit by Tory Party Infighting,” Bloomberg, August 5, 2021. Archived August 5, 2021. Archive URL: 

Since 2020, Mackinlay has chaired the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Fair Fuel for UK Motorists and Hauliers.11Register Of All-Party Parliamentary Groups [as at 16 December 2020]: Fair Fuel for UK Motorists and UK Hauliers,” UK Parliament. Archived November 1, 2021. Archive URL: Mackinlay is the registered contact for the group as of June 2023, and the public enquiry point is listed as Howard Cox, founder of motoring lobby group Fair Fuel UK.12Register of All-Party Parliamentary Groups,” UK Parliament, June 28, 2023. Archived June 28, 2023. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog. Fair Fuel UK is a vocal opponent of fuel duty increases, the government’s 2030 ban on petrol and diesel vehicles, and emissions charging schemes designed to cut air pollution.

According to his website, Mackinlay was a founding member of Conservatives for Britain, a campaign organisation formed just after the General Election of 2015 to lobby for a referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union. During the 2016 EU referendum, Mackinlay campaigned for Brexit and was a member of the Exiting the EU Select Committee in the 2015-2017 and 2017-2019 Parliaments. In the 2015-2017 Parliament, he was also a member of the European Scrutiny Select Committee and the Work and Pensions Select Committee.13About Craig,” Craig Mackinlay MP. Archived October 28, 2021. Archive URL: 

According to his website, Mackinlay wants Manston Airport in his South Thanet constituency to become a “freight hub with passenger & high value engineering services”.14My plan for South Thanet,” Craig Mackinlay MP. Archived November 4, 2021. Archive URL: In 2019, Mackinlay was found to have breached House of Commons rules due to a potential financial interest by calling for the unused Manston airport to be “resurrected” during Commons debates. Mackinlay had failed to declare his role as a director of Mama Airlines Ltd, founded in 2001, which Mackinlay had founded with the intention of running a “low-cost” airline from Manston to Malaga.15Tom Barnes. “Tory MP breaches Commons rules by calling to reopen airport from which he had wanted to run his own airline,” The Independent, June 17, 2018. Archived November 9, 2020. Archive URL:

Before beginning his political career, Mackinlay worked at a firm of chartered accountants and qualified as a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. He also qualified as a member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation.16About Craig,” Craig Mackinlay MP. Archived October 28, 2021. Archive URL:

Stance on Climate Change

August 6, 2021

In an article by The Times about alleged tensions within the UK Cabinet on climate policy, Mackinlay was quoted saying:

“I am not a climate-change denier. I’m concerned that our electors of the future will be huddling round their heat-pump radiators and paying off the debt on an electric vehicle they never wanted either as they look wistfully at China, Indonesia and other nations still enjoying cheap energy from some of the dirtiest fossil fuels.”17Steven Swinford, Oliver Wright, Matt Dathan. “Cabinet tensions heat up the road to Cop26,” The Times, August 14, 2021. Archived August 14, 2021. Archive URL:

Key Quotes

November 26, 2022

In a Daily Telegraph article titled “Exclusive: The town where boilers will be ripped out for net zero trial” about a controversial trial to use hydrogen for home heating, Mackinlay commented:

“As ever, with so much nonsense we’re seeing across the path to net zero, the CO2 balance sheet is often worse than what it is attempting to replace.”18Emma Gatten. “Exclusive: The town where boilers will be ripped out for net zero trial,” The Telegraph, November 26, 2022. Archived November 26, 2022. Archive URL:

October 19, 2022

During a parliamentary debate about fracking, Mackinlay said:

“We are in the depths of an energy crisis… And here we are speaking about trying to ban a source of domestic energy, while we are short of it. And we wonder why people out there think we are stark, staring mad.”19Net Zero Watch. “We are in the depths of an energy crisis… And here we are speaking about trying to ban a source of domestic energy, while we are short of it. And we wonder why people out there think we are stark, staring mad,” October 19, 2022. Tweet by @NetZeroWatch. Retrieved from Archived January 23, 2023. Archive URL:

Net Zero Watch – the campaigning arm of the Global Warming Policy Foundation – tweeted the video, with the caption “Spot on from @cmackinlay” along with the hashtag: “#CostOfNetZero”.

July 27, 2022

In an Express article which revealed that only a small proportion of households applied to a government scheme to incentivise heat pump installation, Mackinlay was quoted saying that the scheme “attempts to force consumers into adopting technologies which they simply don’t want, are expensive and don’t work very well”.20Jack Walters. “‘Money wasted’ Brits snub £450m fund to install heat pumps in net zero push – ‘Inadequate’”, Express, July 27, 2022. Archived July 27, 2022. URL:

“The Government urgently needs to develop a market-friendly approach to decarbonisation which focuses on developing technologies people would choose to use without compulsion.”

July 16, 2022

In an op-ed for the Express, Mackinlay argued for “a concrete plan that sets us free from the rigid pursuit of Net Zero” as a way of dealing with the UK’s energy crisis.21Craig Mackinlay. “Net Zero – the £3 trillion black hole in the Conservative leadership election”, Express, July 16, 2022. Archived July 16, 2022. URL:

He wrote: “The reality is that building more wind turbines and devoting arable land to solar is not going to provide us with the reliable energy we need. The combination of the coal phase out and a failure to invest in nuclear has left us critically exposed to the price of gas.” He also called the moratorium on shale gas extraction (also known as fracking) “senseless”.

May 30, 2022

Mackinlay submitted a written question asking UK Energy Minister, Greg Hands, to ease fracking regulations, calling on him to “publish the criteria for revising the seismicity limits that apply to shale extraction”. Earlier in the month, he asked Hands to “publish the criteria for lifting the moratorium on shale gas extraction”.22Ruth Hayhurst. “What would it take to relax fracking rules? – Tory backbencher asks minister”, Drill or drop?, May 31, 2022. Archived May 31, 2022. URL:

May 14, 2022

A group of Conservative party backbenchers, including Mackinlay, Steve Baker, and Lord David Frost, submitted an open letter to Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng arguing that “the risks associated with fracking are minimal”.23Edward Malnick. “Fracking review ‘will undermine trust if risk mitigation factors ignored’”, Telegraph, May 14, 2022. Archived August 30, 2022. URL:

The letter also claimed that a review of fracking will “jeopardise public trust in democracy and Government’s ability to handle scientific advice” if it does not include evidence that the risks associated with fracking can be “managed and mitigated”.

May 2, 2022

MacKinlay referred to net zero policies as “the Net Zero con-trick” in a GB News article titled “Wind farms earn hundreds of millions more from energy crisis after delaying Government subsidy contract”. He also criticised “the false promise of cheap renewable energy”.24Craig MacKinlay. “Wind farms earn hundreds of millions more from energy crisis after delaying Government subsidy contract”, GB News, May 2, 2022. Archived May 2, 2022. URL:

April 28, 2022

Mackinlay wrote an op-ed for Politics Home in which he warned that “being an early mover into new green technologies could come with wasteful costs and plenty of regrets”. He also argued that “Parliament also needs to properly recognise the seriousness and scope of the changes it is asking people to make on the road to net-zero”.25Craig Mackinlay. “Parliament must consider the impact of net zero policies on people’s lifestyles”, Politics Home, April 28, 2022. Archived April 28, 2022. URL:

Referring to the Net Zero Scrutiny Group, he concluded: “I had no doubt when I set up this group that it would be controversial: […] but it is a sad reflection of how polarised the debate has become, with anyone questioning the plan deemed a ‘climate change denier’”.

April 4, 2022

Mackinlay wrote an article for Conservative Home titled “How to gain popular consent for fracking”. He argued that “we have been deluged with a tidal wave of misinformation” on fracking and that “strange myths around the technology persist” which “may have been promoted by Russian propaganda outlets”.26Craig Mackinlay. “How to gain popular consent for fracking”, Conservative Home, April 4, 2022. Archived August 24, 2022. URL: 

He continued: “If people are only hearing one side of the story – that being the bogus narrative pushed by extreme environmentalist protestors – then we should not simply accept that, but challenge and refute it.”

February 28, 2022

In an opinion piece for the Isle of Thanet News in the immediate aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Mackinlay wrote: “It is not for nothing that I have been writing for months about the failures of UK and Europe’s energy policy and why I started up the new Net Zero Scrutiny Group of Conservative MPs. We must frack for gas, we must dash to new nuclear and if that means a sensible re-appraisal of the path to Net Zero with an arbitrary date of 2050, then so be it. Blame Vladimir Putin.”27Craig Mackinlay. “Opinion with South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay: The reality on the ground in Ukraine”, Isle of Thanet News, February 28, 2022. Archived February 28, 2022. URL:

February 1, 2022

Speaking to The Telegraph about the government’s decision not to eliminate as many EU regulations retained post-Brexit because the plan did not “fit in with Mr Johnson’s ambitions to cut Britain’s carbon emissions to net zero by 2050,” Mackinlay said: “Net Zero will take this government down, I can tell you that.”28Joe Barnes and James Crisp. “Boris Johnson scraps Brexit bonfire of EU red tape in favour of net zero rules,” The Telegraph, February 1, 2022. Archived February 1, 2022. Archive URL:

He continued:

“To think we left the bureaucratic morass of the EU to adopt another one [in net zero] is both shocking and very disappointing. We had an abstract, slight bit of influence in the EU – but we seem to have no influence against the environmental blob which seems to have taken over Whitehall and Downing Street.”

January 24, 2022

Mackinlay wrote an op-ed for The Times which claimed that renewable energy sources “cause[d] the doubling of electricity prices between 2002 and 2021” and argued that renewables were at least partly to blame for the UK’s gas crisis.29Craig Mackinlay. “Why back ourselves into an expensive energy corner?” The Times, January 24, 2022. Archived January 27, 2022. Archive URL:

Regarding the gas crisis, Mackinlay wrote:

“The problem is – as usual – politics. With much of their publics gripped by a quasi-religious belief in imminent climate catastrophe, politicians have simply acceded to the demands of the green lobby, and instituted bans and moratoriums across the continent. Is it any wonder that prices have gone up?”

Mackinlay also wrote that investing in and “deploying renewables simply locks us into a high-cost future,” and that taxpayers will have to pay the costs “either directly or through general taxation substitution.”

He concluded:

“Fossil fuel prices can go lower – much lower – as they have been for most of the last century. A renewables powered future, on the other hand, would lock the public into electricity prices commensurate to those that are causing such pain and anguish today but into perpetuity.”

October 23, 2021

Speaking on GB News during a segment titled “The cost of net zero”, Macklinay claimed that achieving net zero emissions is “very, very expensive.” Mackinlay also said that plans to move to net zero are “all reliant on electricity,” and that the UK had “bungled policy for power for probably a whole generation”.30Tory MP Crash Mackinlay on ‘bungled’ Net Zero ambitions,” YouTube video uploaded by user GBNews, October 23, 2021. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog. 

He also spoke about air source heat pumps, saying they were about four times the price of a “nice, reliable gas boiler” and that despite installing a heat pump, consumers could “find [themselves] saddled with higher bills”. He also claimed that households would have to pay more than £30,000 for the transition to net zero. 

Mackinlay also said: “Of course I want a greener future, of course I do. I want to leave this planet in a better place than we found it,” and stated that COP26 should focus on reducing single use plastic, protecting ocean biodiversity, and planting forests.

September 20, 2021

In a piece from the Mail Online about the UK’s energy shortage, Mackinlay was quoted saying: “The transition to Net Zero is going to be over a long period of time. Fossil fuels will be part of the mix for a long period of time. So it makes sense to be as domestically secure as we possibly can.”31James Tapsfield, David Wilcock. “No10 dismisses pleas from Tory MPs and energy firms to scrap ‘green levies’ that can make up a QUARTER of household bills to avoid gas crisis triggering wave of ‘fuel poverty’ this winter,” MailOnline, September 20, 2021. Archived October 31, 2021. Archive URL:

Key Actions

June 25, 2023

Mackinlay and two other MPs affiliated with the Net Zero Scrutiny Group – Greg Smith and Andrew Lewer – said it was “unfair” for UK households to pay a £170 yearly green levy on energy bills, after the government announced it would no longer cover the cost of the Energy Price Guarantee as of July 2023.32Amy Gibbons. “Rishi Sunak faces backlash over ‘punishing’ net zero levy,” The Telegraph, June 25, 2023. Archived June 26, 2023. Archive URL:

Mackinlay said that it was the “wrong time to add costs” to households in light of the cost of living and energy crises, “especially for net zero measures that the public increasingly despise”.

The EPG, announced during Liz Truss’s tenure as prime minister, covered the cost of the green levies and was designed to “reduce the extent of [energy] price increases for domestic customers”.33UK Parliament. “Gas and electricity prices under the Energy Price Guarantee and beyond,” House of Commons Library, May 25, 2023. Archived June 3, 2023. Archive URL:

May 30, 2023

Mackinlay said Labour’s plans to block all new oil and gas developments in the UK North Sea were “incoherent”, adding that gas is “the flexible backbone of electricity generation and home heating, with oil the mainstay of motive power and industrial processes”.34Pressure mounts on Keir Starmer for U-turn on North Sea oil and gas,” Aberdeen Business News, May 30, 2023. Archived June 28, 2023. Archive URL:

A source for the Labour Party told the Guardian the party is “against the granting of new licences for oil and gas in the North Sea”, but would “continue to use existing oil and gas wells over the coming decades and manage them sustainably”. The ban on new North Sea oil and gas licenses would not affect projects that had previously been approved, with the exception of two projects Labour said it would block: the Rosebank and Cambo fields.35Peter Walker. “Labour confirms plans to block all new North Sea oil and gas projects,” The Guardian, May 28, 2023. Archived June 21, 2023. Archive URL:

Mackinlay said Labour’s ban on new licenses would force the UK to import more oil and gas from abroad, adding:36Pressure mounts on Keir Starmer for U-turn on North Sea oil and gas,” Aberdeen Business News, May 30, 2023. Archived June 28, 2023. Archive URL:

“Labour’s plans to import more will simply enrich foreign treasuries and increase CO2 output, such is the flawed model of international LNG shipments.

“When politicians follow flawed ideology the result is usually 180 degrees away from what common sense would dictate. These plans are truly dangerous.”

May 18, 2023

Mackinlay told the Telegraph he was opposed to the UK’s “socialist energy agenda”, speaking with regard to a £120-a-year levy on consumer energy bills that would support the development of hydrogen gas as part of the government’s net zero plans.37Emma Gatten and Nick Gutteridge. “Net zero could push energy bills up by £120 a year,The Telegraph, May 18, 2023. Archived June 19, 2023. Archive URL:

March 7, 2023

Mackinlay tweeted a picture of himself reading a “newspaper” produced by fuel lobbying group FairFuel UK, writing that it was a “great read” about ULEZ, “crackpot #LTN schemes”, and the “cost & environmental scandal” of electric vehicles.38Craig Mackinlay. “Good to receive @HowardCCox #FairFuelUK newspaper demanding cut to fuel duty, pump price rip-off, #ULEZ & crackpot #LTN schemes, the cost & environmental scandal of #EVs. #Stopthe2030 #ICE ban and much more. Great read!,” tweet from user @cmackinlay, March 7, 2023. Retrieved from Archived June 28, 2023. Archive URL:

November 26, 2022

Speaking to the Telegraph about a trial that would replace gas boilers in the town of Ellesmere Port with hydrogen boilers, Mackinlay called the scheme “greenwash” and raised concerns about the infrastructure, costs, safety and supply of hydrogen fuel.39Emma Gatten. “Exclusive: The town where boilers will be ripped out for net zero trial,” The Telegraph, November 26, 2022. Archived March 29, 2023. Archive URL:

He added: “As ever, with so much nonsense we’re seeing across the path to net zero, the CO2 balance sheet is often worse than what it is attempting to replace.”

February 16, 2022

DeSmog revealed that Mackinlay employed two Parliamentary aides with links to the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF): Harry Wilkinson, head of policy at the GWPF; and Ruth Lea, a trustee of the GWPF from 2019 to 2021. Mackinlay confirmed that Lea had had a parliamentary pass through association with his office since 2016.

When asked about Lea, Mackinlay told POLITICO: “She has never been paid and has assisted me primarily across Brexit, Treasury and economic issues throughout as she continues to do.”40Esther Webber and Karl Mathisen. “Tory MP hires staff linked to climate denial group,” POLITICO, February 16, 2022. Archived February 17, 2022. Archive URL:

He added that her work with Net Zero Watch “was wholly unconnected to her original appointment with me and is not related to her continuation as a passholder now. She is largely retired these days and she comes to parliament infrequently.”

Regarding Wilkinson’s continuing employment with Net Zero Watch, Mackinlay said that Wilkinson’s roles are “fully disclosed according to parliamentary rules applying to MPs’ employees and his depth of knowledge acquired there is invaluable to my interest and work on net zero issues.”

February 10, 2022

Mackinlay wrote an article for The Critic titled “Green energy cannot save us,” in which he argued that the government’s “determination to push through Net Zero policies without adequate consideration of their implications could do even more damage to the Government than Partygate”. 41Craig Mackinlay. “Green energy cannot save us,” The Critic, February 10, 2022. Archived February 10, 2022. Archive URL:

He also claimed that “it would take extreme propaganda to blame free markets and low taxes [for the energy crisis] when we have had extensive state planning, high taxes, subsidies and misleading claims about the costs of renewables”.

Mackinlay also wrote that calls for a quicker transition away from gas as a main energy source in the UK have come “habitually from people who would have said this whatever else was happening in the world” and that such a transition “may be a solution for decades ahead once technology evolves, but the problem we have is now”.

He concluded:

“We must be able to use our own natural gas supplies, which are right under our feet as well as out to sea. Using our own gas will bring investment, jobs, a good helping of taxes and reduce emissions compared to imported gas, which often comes with geopolitical strings attached. To say that we ought not to try because it might not make that much of a difference to prices is utterly defeatist, neglecting the experience of the USA. It’s for businesses to experiment in the marketplace and not for the government to arbitrarily cancel industries and manage prices based on a hunch that may prove to be wrong.”

February 6, 2022

In an op-ed for the Telegraph about the UK’s gas crisis, Mackinlay wrote that “the wholesale decarbonisation of the economy – so called ‘Net Zero’” was having “disastrous implications for the cost of living”. He also claimed that the UK’s moratorium on fracking and “a broad refusal, with limited exceptions, to unlock North Sea reserves” were partly responsible for the gas crisis and cost of living crisis.42Craig Mackinlay. “A Conservative free-market approach is the solution to our energy woes,” The Telegraph, February 6, 2022. Archived February 6, 2022. Archive URL:

Mackinlay also wrote that the Climate Change Committee (CCC) had provided “poor-quality advice” about the cost of the transition to net zero and claimed that in the view of the current government, “nothing must be allowed to get in the way of decarbonisation efforts, and anyone who questions this must be some sort of climate ‘denier’.”

He also argued that the UK should “make use of the extraordinary natural resources that we have under our feet and out to sea” and end the “incoherent shale gas moratorium,” which he claimed could create “74,000 skilled jobs in the Red Wall”.

February 6, 2022

In a Telegraph article about concerns that the current energy efficiency rating system for homes, Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rules, could mean that installing a heat pump lowers the value of a property, Mackinlay claimed that heat pumps “can actually increase energy use” and that installing and using one “could push a property that might have been rated C under an old method into D”.43Tom Rees and Tony Diver. “Homes risk energy rating downgrade if they install a heat pump,” The Telegraph, February 6, 2022. Archived February 6, 2022. Archive URL:

The article noted that although heat pumps produce less carbon dioxide (CO2) than burning gas for energy, “the way that the ratings are currently estimated means that replacing a traditional gas boiler with a heat pump can lower a home’s energy efficiency rating.”

An October 2021 Telegraph article reported that heat pumps “produce around three times the energy they use, making them much more efficient than a gas boiler”.44Gareth Davies. “Low carbon heat pumps: Everything you need to know from cost to efficiency,” The Telegraph, October 20, 2021. Archived February 3, 2021. Archive URL:

February 4, 2022

Speaking to PoliticsHome about a support package announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak to help ease the cost of living crisis, Mackinlay reportedly cautioned against provisions in the package to support the renewable energy sector because “this whole dash to renewables isn’t really working”.45Kate Proctor. “Rishi Sunak Urged To Drop Green Levy To Ease The Cost Of Living Crisis,” PoliticsHome, February 4, 2022. Archived February 4, 2022. Archive URL:

Mackinlay also said that the government should focus on developing its domestic energy supply, especially from nuclear and gas, arguing:

“We have been blessed in this country with very large gas reserves. Why on earth would you be importing gas which everybody accepts has to be part of the energy mix, no matter if you’re fully onto net zero or not. We have those reserves, for heavens sake let’s use them.”

November 17, 2021

Mackinlay spoke to NTD UK News about the recent launch of the Net Zero Scrutiny Group, which would push for more critical discussion on government policies to reach net zero carbon emissions. When asked how many were involved in the group, he said it was “sort of growing north of 50 and growing by the day”.46NTD UK News Full Broadcast,” NTD UK News, November 17, 2021. Archived December 6, 2021. Archive URL:

He told the channel: “It’s quite surprising about how many MPs that I wouldn’t have considered particularly interested in these things are now tapping me on the shoulder and saying, you know what, we need to have a decent discussion on this within the party, because this is not electorally good for us.”

Mackinlay also said: “We shouldn’t be demonising gas. Gas is a far more efficient way, much smaller CO2 footprint to create energy than coal.”

The following day, a clip of the video was posted by Net Zero Watch, the new name for the Global Warming Policy Forum, the campaigning wing of the UK’s most prominent climate science denial group, the Global Warming Policy Foundation.47‘”It’s surprising how many MPs are now tapping me on the shoulder to say, we’ve got to have a decent discussion about [Net Zero] within the party. It’s not electorally good for us. Economically, it’s a disaster zone. We should be looking at another way” @cmackinlay #CostOfNetZero,’ Tweet by @NetZeroWatch, November 18, 2021. Retrieved from Archived .png on file at DeSmog. 

October 23, 2021

Mackinlay was quoted in a Telegraph article questioning the net zero pathway laid out by the Climate Change Committee (CCC), specifically that the CCC’s target “relies on a rise in windy days,” as saying: “These predictions appear somewhat fanciful. The Climate Change Committee seem to be looking at the whole project through rose-tinted spectacles to try and minimalise the unpalatable costs of this whole enterprise.”48Edward Malnick. “Net Zero target relies on rise in windy days,” The Telegraph, October 23, 2021. Archived October 29, 2021. Archive URL:

The data underlying the report was obtained through a tribunal case brought by Andrew Montford, deputy director of the GWPF, after the climate sceptic group had argued that the CCC had not been transparent about its calculations for the cost of the net zero transition.49David Rose. “Tell us the true cost of saving the planet: Judge orders quango to back up claim of ‘only’ 1% of GDP to hit net zero,The Daily Mail, August 6, 2021. Archived August 6, 2021. Archive URL: The analysis reported on in the article was conducted by the free-market Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), which recently claimed that the “quality of the CCC”s advice is questionable”.50Victoria Hewson. “Hot Air: A Critique of the UK’s Climate Change Committee,” Institute of Economic Affairs, October 2021. Archived October 24, 2021. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

October 20, 2021

Mackinlay told LBC’s Iain Dale that the cost of the net zero transition, specifically retrofitting households to be more energy efficient, is “truly colossal” and that it will cost “over £30,000 per household”.51Seán Hickey. “Tory MP: Government’s net zero plan ‘the stuff of madness’”, LBC, October 19, 2021. Archived October 25, 2021. Archive URL:

October 19, 2021

Mackinlay was quoted in a Daily Mail article stating that “Boris’s £1TRILLION green dream” will have a negative financial impact on Britons, describing the government’s net zero plans as a “largely uncosted wish list”, adding that he was “most uncomfortable for the lower paid who will bear the cost of much of this greenwash in higher bills and taxes whilst the wealthier will bank their contribution towards their five figure heat pump.”52Jason Groves, Claire Ellicott, James Tapsfield. “How Boris’s £1TRILLION green dream could hit YOU: Britons face MORE taxes, a 50% hike on their heating bills, paying £10k or more for a heat pump, up to £9k a wall for insulation – and owners of inefficient homes may struggle to get a mortgage”, The Daily Mail, October 20, 2021. Archived November 5, 2021. Archive URL:

Mackinlay also said that the UK is “on a path to bankruptcy with multi-trillion pound dreams” as “big global emitters of CO2 pay lip service to net zero”.  

September 10, 2021

Mackinlay wrote an article for The Critic titled “Did the PM tell the truth about Net Zero?”, published after Mackinlay asked Prime Minister Boris Johnson about the cost of the government’s proposed pathway to net zero emissions. In it, he wrote that the UK’s decarbonisation policies must be “both affordable and technologically feasible” and claimed that “renewable energy in Britain has not, as the Prime Minister suggests, been getting cheaper”, adding that “audited accounts show clearly that offshore wind capital costs remain high and that their operation and maintenance costs are rising rapidly”.53Craig Mackinlay. “Did the PM tell the truth about Net Zero?,” The Critic, September 10, 2021. Archived November 6, 2021. Archive URL: 

Mackinlay added that “Government cost estimates are invariably based on the predictions of the industries concerned”, and that checking the wind and solar industries’ predictions “against the reality of audited accounts” makes their claims about the efficiency of wind and solar appear “misleading”.  

September 2021

Mackinlay wrote an article for The Critic titled “What will Net Zero cost?” in which he argued that the transition to net zero emissions is “the British state’s biggest undertaking for a generation and a strange throwback to the command and control regimes of old”.54Craig Mackinlay. “What will Net Zero cost?The Critic, August/September 2021. Archived November 13, 2021. Archive URL: 

Macklinay added: “Every gas boiler will need to be replaced, the freedoms, flexibility and affordability offered by petrol and diesel vehicles will have to be denied, and most industrial processes reimagined.”

Mackinlay also wrote that it had not been determined who would pay for the transition, and that the Climate Change Committee’s cost estimate for the transition meant “households are each facing a £50,000 bill for over the next 30 years”.

September 8, 2021

In a parliamentary debate, Mackinlay asked the Prime Minister for an answer to “constituents I have of the future” who will have to “sit around a tepid radiator powered by an inefficient and expensive air source heating unit, worrying about the payments on the electric car that they didn’t want either, while they watch the growing economies of the world going hell-for-leather building new gas and coal power stations”.55“Craig Mackinlay MP describes his constituents of the future “sitting around a tepid radiator” powered by an expensive air source heat pump. @cmackinlay Could this be your future under Net Zero?⚠️#CostOfNetZero”, tweet from user @NetZeroWatch. Retrieved from Archived October 27, 2021. Archive URL: 

Mackinlay asked Prime Minister Boris Johnson to “please commit to solutions that are technologically possible to reduce Britain’s CO2” rather than “uncosted commitments”. The clip was later shared by the Global Warming Policy Foundation, since rebranded as Net Zero Watch, on Twitter. 

August 19, 2021

In an interview for Kent Online, Mackinlay voiced his opposition to wider adoption of electric vehicles, claiming that Britons “are being skewered down the route of just battery vehicles” and that “there are a lot of hidden costs to the planet here, not least because of the rare metals involved, which are usually produced in the Democratic Republic of Congo, involving unspeakable human misery”.56Paul Francis. “South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay to lead backbench group scrutinising government over climate change decisions,” Kent Online, August 19, 2021. Archived November 2, 2021. Archive URL:

August 16, 2021

In a personal update posted to his website, Mackinlay wrote about Parliament returning: “How can we steer the government away from potential unfolding disaster in its unrealistic Net Zero plans? Lots of challenges on the horizon and you can be sure I will be in the thick of it.”57Craig Mackinlay. “My Regular Update: August 16, 2021,” Craig Mackinlay MP, August 16, 2021. Archived December 13, 2021. Archive URL: 

July 29, 2021

Mackinlay announced on his website that his constituency had received more than £6.5 million for flood protection from the government, meaning that “913 more homes and businesses in Thanet are to be better protected from flooding and coastal erosion by 2026-2027”.58Craig Mackinlay. “Thanet To Receive Over £6.5m For Flood Protection,” Craig Mackinlay MP, July 29, 2021. Archived December 13, 2021. Archive URL: Although the government’s press release for the scheme explicitly noted it was meant to increase the area’s “climate resilience”, Bob Ward, policy and communications director for the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics, pointed out that Macklinay did not acknowledge that the funding was allocated to address the effects of climate change.59South East flood protection receives record government investment,” GOV.UK, July 29, 2021. Archived July 29, 2021. Archive URL: 60Bob Ward, “Misinformation and propaganda campaign on net zero,” September 10, 2021. Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment. Archived October 23, 2021. Archive URL: 

July 16, 2021

Mackinlay wrote an article for Conservative Home titled “The Government is fooling itself if it thinks it can go down the Net Zero path without electoral damage”, in which he called the government’s current path to achieving net zero emissions by 2050 “muddled, costly and impractical” and said that “the poor will suffer from these elite delusions”. He also said that there is no answer to the question of “who pays” for the net zero transition, and raised concerns about a “radical transformation of every part of the economy”.61Craig Mackinlay. “Craig Mackinlay: The Government is fooling itself if it thinks it can go down the Net Zero path without electoral damage,” Conservative Home, July 16, 2021. Archived November 11, 2021. Archive URL: 

Mackinlay also criticised the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) and its £1.4 trillion cost estimate for the transition to net zero, saying the body “i​​s supposed to provide rigorous, independent advice to parliament” but “always recommends further and faster”.

He added: “The CCC is a significant player in the political debate around Net Zero, often explicitly directing Government policy, while being totally unelected and unaccountable. Mainstream media regurgitates its words sagely with little space offered to those who question its assumptions.” 

November 25, 2020

After noting his new role as the chairman of the APPG for Fair Fuel for Motorists and Hauliers, Mackinlay wrote in a local Thanet column that the government’s 2030 diesel and petrol car ban meant “any beneficial technological improvements to the diesel and petrol engine which has advanced rapidly with cleaner burning, more efficient engines, now comes to a grinding halt forever”. Mackinlay added: “​​The anti-motorist battle continues as I speak out against new ill-conceived cycle lanes carved out from already congested and insufficient road space. I’m all for new dedicated space for cycling and walking but not at the expense of other road users.”62Craig Mackinlay. “Craig Mackinlay: Thanet column for week ending November 27,” InYourArea, November 25, 2020. Archived January 18, 2021. Archive URL:

In the same column, Mackinaly wrote that while “we all want cleaner air”, hydrogen technology is “more sensible” than electric vehicles (EVs) and that EV batteries and the necessary “upgraded electricity infrastructure” must be factored into the carbon cost of switching to electric vehicles. 

June 17, 2018

Mackinlay was found to have breached House of Commons rules due to a potential financial interest by calling for the unused Manston airport in his constituency of South Thanet to be “resurrected” during Commons debates. Mackinlay had failed to declare his role as a director of Mama Airlines Ltd, which he had founded in 2000 with the intention of running a “low-cost” airline from Manston to Malaga.63Tom Barnes. “Tory MP breaches Commons rules by calling to reopen airport from which he had wanted to run his own airline,” The Independent, June 17, 2018. Archived November 9, 2020. Archive URL: 

In a statement, Mackinlay said: “The company has never traded, has never even had a bank account, and I have never derived any remuneration or benefit from it.

“Not in my wildest dreams did I think, through any common sense interpretation of the rules, that a dormant company, a mere incorporation of an idea some 17 years old would require registration.

“I will continue to speak up for an aviation future for Manston as much as I am able, not least as, despite the passage of time, it is an industry that I understand and have, albeit historic, knowledge of.”


  • Conservative Party — Member of Parliament.
  • Net Zero Scrutiny Group — Leader.
  • Fair Fuel UK — Chair of All Party Parliamentary Group for Fair Fuel for UK Motorists and Hauliers.
  • UK Independence Party — Former leader and deputy leader.

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