The UK's Green Investment Bank could be killed off if the Government goes ahead with plans to sell it, Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas has said.

She warned the preferred bidder, Australian investment bank Macquerie, has a "very worrying and dubious track record" and is likely to asset strip the company and discard its green ideals.

Ms Lucas urged ministers to halt the planned sale of the bank, which supports offshore wind farms and other green projects.

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Asking an urgent question in the Commons, she said: "Will the minister admit that this selling off could lead to the bank being fatally undermined as an enduring institution?

"Will he stop the killing off of the Green Investment Bank? Will he halt the sale process with immediate effect?"

Set up with £3.8 billion of Government money, the investment bank is the first in the world dedicated to "greening the economy".

Ms Lucas told MPs: "This week we heard that the Green Investment Bank stands on the brink of not just being flogged off but of being broken up with its green purposes discarded.

"Founded in 2012, the GIB has been widely recognised as a true success story, kick-starting truly innovative low-carbon projects across the UK.

"And yet this preferred bidder, Macquarie, not only has a dismal and terrible environmental record, it also has an appalling track record of asset stripping.

"So why has the Government given preferred bidder status to this company?"

Recent changes to the bank's corporate structure suggest there are plans "to hollow out the GIB", she said.

As part of the plans to sell the bank, the Government has created a "special share" which legally enshrines its obligation to invest exclusively in green projects.

But Ms Lucas said the asset stripping raised questions over the effectiveness of this safeguard and its sale could result in the bank being "fatally undermined as an enduring institution".