Millionaire owner of Boris's holiday home faces peers as PM relaxes

Millionaire Tory owner of Boris’s Marbella holiday home faces peers over Cop26 as PM chillaxes on the Costa del Sol: Minister Lord Goldsmith tells Commons committee investing in fossil fuels is like investing in fax machines ahead of climate summit

  • Zac Goldsmith grilled by Lords’ environment committee over Government plans to tackle climate change
  • Came as Boris Johnson headed back to Britain from £25,00-a-night Costa Del Sol estate, Torre Tramores
  • In contrast to PM’s luxurious surroundings, Goldsmith spoke from what appeared to be a bland office

The Tory millionaire owner of Boris Johnson’s deluxe holiday home faced peers in Parliament today, as the PM came to the end of a sunshine family break on the Costa del Sol.

After Boris Johnson was pictured painting al-fresco in his downtime at the £25,000-a-night Torre Tramores, Zac Goldsmith was grilled by a Lords’ environment committee today over Government plans to tackle climate change.

Ahead of the Cop 26 UN conference in Glasgow later this month the peer – a former Topry MP elevated to the upper house after losing his seat in 2019 –  said continued public investment in fossil fuels like coal was as much use as investing it in fax machines.

The PM headed back to the UK today from his break with Carrie and Wilfred at the private hideaway a short drive from the picturesque village of Benahavis, which has its own helipad to make sure VIP holidaymakers can arrive and leave without being seen.    

Princess Diana is rumoured to have stayed at the exclusive estate, set in over 600 acres of woodland, after her divorce from Prince Charles.

In contrast to the luxurious surroundings, Lord Goldsmith gave evidence to the Environment and Climate Change Committee from what appeared to be a bland, featureless office.

The House of Commons is currently on recess created to allow attendance at parry conferences, but the Lords is sitting this week, allowing peers to grill him.


After Boris Johnson was pictured painting al-fresco in his downtime at the £25,000-a-night Torre Tramores, Zac Goldsmith was grilled by a Lords’ environment committee today over Government plans to tackle climate change.

The PM’s convoy today left the Spanish villa where he has spent the week on holiday with his family, ahead of his return to the UK

The estate, known as Torre Tramores, is a short drive from the picturesque village of Benahavis, and has its own helipad to make sure VIP holidaymakers can arrive and leave without being seen

Plenty of security officials and police activity have been spotted around the property over the last day, after Boris’ trip was revealed yesterday

 Spanish media reported that the Prime Minister and his young family are staying at Tory peer Zac Goldsmith’s home in the hills above the Costa del Sol.

Speaking ahead of the Cop26 summit in Glasgow next month, Lord Goldsmith said there was still much for Government departments to do to ensure policymaking aligned with net-zero goals.

But he insisted good progress had been made, especially in moving away from traditional fossil fuel industries.

He told peers: ‘It’s not either-or, it’s not either deal with climate change or grow your economy.

‘It is inconceivable, I think, that we won’t go through this low carbon transition.

‘I think you’d have to be pretty brave to bet that in 20 years time we’re going to have something like the same fossil fuel global infrastructure that we have at the moment. The market would certainly suggest otherwise.

‘I mean, (former US) president Trump tried very hard to keep the coal industry going on his watch, but it declined faster on his watch than it did under (former US) president Obama.

‘And I think some of the market trends we’re seeing… offshore wind, we were told to expect it to reach parity in 2040/2045, that was generally accepted, that was an internal government view as well.

‘We’re very close now within the next year or two, maybe three years, of reaching that point. But you know, we’re over a decade earlier than anticipated.

‘All the trends in relation to solar power, the same.

‘The transition in relation to electric vehicles is happening far faster, I think, than people anticipated.

‘And I think our 2035 target (to only allow zero-emission vehicles) will look a bit silly at some point when the car companies will just make that transition because that’s an economically sensible thing to do.’

He added: ‘So for us to decide no, actually we’re not going to deal with climate change, we’re going to cling to this old system which is probably going to be obsolete in 20 years time in any case, I think would be a huge strategic error, let alone an ethical one, it would be a strategic economic error.’

He warned the UK would be ‘miles behind in a world that has left us behind’.

And he said: ‘I think we’d be mad to turn away, it feels to me like doing so would be like pouring public money into keeping fax machines going at a time when people use emails.

‘It just doesn’t – that’s also a clumsy analogy – but it just doesn’t make sense from an economic point of view, in my view.’

Meanwhile a poll today found Mr Johnon’s lead over Keir Starmer has stretched to 10 points despite mounting chaos in supply chains and surging inflation.

The PM has spent the week on holiday in Spain with his family amid a fresh wave of grim warnings about shortages in the run-up to Christmas.

The country has also been wracked by alarm about soaring energy bills and the risk spiking inflation will force the Bank of England to hike interest rates sooner than planned.   

But according to the latest YouGov poll the turbulence is not denting the Tories’ standing with voters.

The party’s support has gone up two points in a week, hitting 41 per cent in the research conducted yesterday and Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Labour was stalled on 31 per cent, with Sir Keir facing increasing frustration in his own ranks about why they are not making inroads.

Mr Johnson also maintained his advantage as ‘best PM’, with 31 per cent opting for him and 25 per cent for Sir Keir. 

A poll today found the Tory lead over Labour has stretched to 10 points despite mounting chaos in supply chains and surging inflation

As Mr Johnson’s convoy was seen leaving, the queues were still visible at petrol stations in some parts of the country after a wave of panic buying caused chaos.

There have also been warnings about delays stacking up at ports, while surging worldwide demand after the pandemic and international shortages of lorry drivers have contributed to a ‘perfect storm’ for shoppers.

Rishi Sunak could only offer limited reassurance today there will be presents under the tree this Christmas, amid fears the supply chain crisis will leave shelves bare.

The Chancellor admitted the government ‘can’t fix every single problem’, but said ministers were doing ‘absolutely everything we can’ to solve issues at British ports and in shops ahead of the festive period.

Families have been urged to start shopping now amid fears supplies of toys, electrical goods and other products will be disrupted by logjams. 

One in three retailers in Britain are expecting prices to increase over the next three months amid pressures including spiking energy costs.

The British Retail Consortium said there are ‘clear signs’ that the combination of issues are ‘starting to filter through to consumer prices’, and small retailers across the UK say they are expecting to have to charge more.

But others said they are ‘desperately holding off from being a Christmas grinch and keeping everything the same’ because they don’t want to give shoppers more reasons not to buy in what is already a tough market.  

In comical scenes, it has emerged that a Tesco Extra in Cardiff put a huge display of sunflower oil at the end of a frozen food aisle, while another placed salad cream and HP Sauce in chillers  – and a Gloucester Asda filled empty shelves with Lynx Africa deodorant.

Meanwhile a Tesco in Pontypridd, South Wales, put a wall of tomatoes in place of the usual salad items. And a Co-op store in Hertfordshire filled fruit and vegetable sections with Quality Street, Celebrations and Dairy Milk.

Insiders said it was not being driven by head offices and was just staff thinking on their feet. Barbara Davies, 71, told the Sun: ‘It feels like items have been plonked in odd places where other products would normally be. 

‘Why would they put so many bottles of sunflower oil right next to all the frozen food? It does make me worry about what Christmas might look like.’    

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