When the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee met in the Thatcher Room this morning, Yeo was “strongly questioned” and the Tories on the committee made it clear to him in no uncertain terms that if he had coached a witness there was no way back for him. Guido understands that Labour members demanded his immediate resignation.
A source in the room tells Guido:
“I don’t know where the Lilley story came from, it was never going to be him. He’s the most junior committee member in terms of tenure. Robert is the most senior and he has always acted as chair in the past when Tim has been absent. He is quite popular on the committee, and seen as a steady pair of hands.”
Interestingly, Guido’s source confirms that there was “a brief discussion” regarding Sir Robert’s potential conflict of interest from his Shell shareholdings, though “the committee agreed that as he is the natural interim chair” that there was “no suggestion he’s ever done anything wrong” so “should step up in this case.” The committee have replaced one conflicted chairman with another, though Sir Robert Smith’s case pales in comparison with the sums Yeo was getting away with. Just because you declare a conflict of interest, it does not mean it goes away. That should be Yeo’s lasting legacy…