Lily Allen inspires Labour energy rebellion

POP star Lily Allen helped MPs to deliver one of the biggest-ever rebellions against Gordon Brown when they defied the government on efforts to tackle climate change.

Thirty-three Labour MPs voted against their party and demanded the introduction of a system of rewards for people who install solar panels and wind turbines at home.

Ms Allen had written to all MPs in advance of a debate on the Energy Bill calling for them to back an amendment that would have forced the government to devise a reward scheme within a year.

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The move was defeated by 250 votes to 210, but only after the government – which opposed the move on cost grounds – was forced to call its supporters back from campaigning in the English and Welsh local elections.

At present, about 2 per cent of the UK's energy comes from renewable sources – a situation that Allen described as a "national disgrace".

Critics believe that the government's cautious approach will increase the amount of renewable energy to just 5 per cent by 2020 – missing the 15 per cent European Union target.

They want the UK to copy a scheme in Germany where homeowners, farmers, small businesses and owners of public buildings are paid a fixed amount for every unit of renewable energy they generate. Around 14 per cent of Germany's energy is from renewable sources.