A Scottish Tory MP has lost his government responsibility for pylon-building after campaigning against new pylons in his constituency.

Andrew Bowie, a UK Government energy minister has been quietly moved from his role of overseeing national plans to build more pylons after being put in charge of the brief in February last year.

Politico reported that the West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine MP had his brief for pylons quietly passed to fellow energy minister Graham Stuart.

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Mr Bowie has kept hold of his responsibility for nuclear power and has taken on more scope for renewables as part of the swap with Mr Stuart.

According to Politico. the UK Government confirmed that Mr Bowie had raised potential conflicts of interest under the ministerial code, recording “a large number of energy companies and organisations working in or on behalf of the energy sector within the minister’s constituency and surrounding constituencies”.

In July 2023, while he held responsibility for the pylons policy, Mr Bowie wrote that concerns raised by his constituents over a proposed new substation and pylons were “a priority of mine”.

He added: “It was evident that SSEN [the developer] had made mistakes in their engagement with the local community."

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Mr Bowie also met with local anti-pylon campaigners before and after holding the brief.

In November, Mr Bowie’s boss, UK Energy Secretary Claire Coutinho, suggested that MPs faced “difficult conversations” with constituents about the local impact as the UK Government looks to radically expand the electricity grid in preparation for more green energy sources moving online.

Mr Bowie is defending a very slender majority in West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine of just 843 at this year’s general election, while the new minister responsible for pylons, Mr Stuart, has a majority of more than 20,000 in his Beverley and Holderness constituency.

The MP, who was previously Theresa May’s parliamentary private secretary, has also served as minister for exports in the International Trade Department before switching to his energy role.

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Tim Durrant, program director at the Institute for Government think tank, told Politico: “There’s a requirement in the ministerial code for ministers to avoid any conflict of interest between constituency issues and their departmental responsibilities.

“The code explicitly says responsibilities should be arranged to avoid any conflict, so it could be because of that that they’ve moved things around in DESNZ.”

Scottish Renewables said it is “time to be upfront and honest” about the need for updated infrastructure.

It said previous work by the UK National Grid estimated “five times more transmission lines need to be built by 2030 than have been built in the past 30 years, at a cost of more than £50 billion”.