South Shropshire MP Philip Dunne has been recognised for his outstanding work in environmental conservation.
Former Chancellor of the Exchequer Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP presented him at the annual Conservative Environment Network (CEN) after giving lecture last night him with the inaugural Sam Barker Memorial Award for Conservative Environmentalism.
The award recognises environmental centre-right leaders who have made significant contributions towards restoring nature and have demonstrated political and intellectual leadership on environmental issues.
Mr Dunne received the award for his instrumental role in leading environmental campaigns in Parliament, such as tackling water pollution and restoring Britain's rivers. His work as the Chairman of the Environmental Audit Committee has led to the government's implementation of policies that will make water firms a statutory consultee for planning applications, introduce a mandate for sustainable drainage in all new homes from 2024, and ringfence fines against polluting water firms to pay for river restoration.
The award is named in memory of Sam Barker, a former Director of CEN who was a passionate campaigner for environmental stewardship.
The judging panel, which included CEN Chairman Ben Goldsmith, CEN board member Cllr Jane MacBean, Daily Express Environment Editor Steph Spyro, and former Director of Strategy for COP26 Charlie Ogilvie, chose Mr Dunne as the recipient of the award.
Sam Hall, Director of the Conservative Environment Network, commented:
“We are delighted to present this award in memory of Sam Barker to Philip Dunne MP, whose leadership and campaigning on environmental issues has been pivotal in shaping our country’s efforts to preserve our natural inheritance.
“Philip is a powerful advocate for the environment within the conservative movement, expertly providing political and intellectual leadership to raise the level of ambition and effect change to restore nature and tackle climate change.”
On receiving the award, Dunne said:
“I am enormously grateful to the Conservative Environment Network for the Sam Barker Memorial Award.
“Over the last few years, we have become all too aware of the dangerous chemical cocktail coursing through our waterways, threatening the health of humans and wildlife alike. It was clear something had to be done, and through my Private Members Bill and our work on the Environmental Audit Committee, we have helped shine a light and stimulate Government action.
“Returning our waterways to good ecological status will be a long journey, but we will continue scrutinising policy progress in this vital artery of the natural world.”
Photo: Philip with Benet Northcote, Cllr Jane BacBean (both members of CEN board) & Former Chancellor, Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP