Slough’s MP has slammed the Prime Minister’s decision to push back key climate targets, calling it an “act of weakness”.

Rishi Sunak confirmed earlier this week that deadlines to phase out combustion engine cars and gas boilers would be delayed in a revision of the government’s net zero strategy.

However, his announcement was met with criticism from Slough MP Tan Dhesi, who called for greater certainty for businesses amid the move towards a greener economy.

Mr Dhesi, who is also shadow exchequer secretary to the treasury, said: “Business needs certainty. Everyone needs a stable climate.

“A Labour government would work to provide both. Rishi Sunak doesn’t care about either.

“This change of policy is an act of weakness from a desperate, directionless Prime Minister, dancing to the tune of a small minority of his party.

“This u-turn will hold Britain back from achieving its potential and damage industry confidence.”

The Prime Minister announced the policy shifts in a major speech on Wednesday, in which he expressed his intention to “adopt a more pragmatic, proportionate, and realistic approach to meeting net zero that eases the burdens on working people.”

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Headline measures included pushing back the ban on new petrol and diesel car sales from 2030 to 2035 – a move that was negatively received by some in the automobile industry.

Ahead of Mr Sunak’s speech, Ford UK chair Lisa Brankin said: “This is the biggest industry transformation in over a century and the UK 2030 target is a vital catalyst to accelerate Ford into a cleaner future.

“Our business needs three things from the UK government: ambition, commitment and consistency. A relaxation of 2030 would undermine all three.”

However, other manufacturers welcomed the Prime Minister’s move, with a Toyota spokesperson saying it “recognises that all low emission and affordable technologies can have a role to play in a pragmatic vehicle transition.”

Other measures Mr Sunak announced included pushing back the ban on gas boilers in new homes to 2035 – along with a 50 per cent increase in the boiler upgrade scheme.

The government has committed to reaching net zero emissions by 2050.