A desperate Tory Government is dropping green policies in a cynical attempt to dredge up votes with an eye to the next general election.

With little to boast about after 13 years of failure, they are instead inflaming culture wars on topics that invoke an emotional response from their side regardless of the real-world consequences.

In their sights recently was London Labour mayor Sadiq Khan’s plan to extend the Ultra Low Emission Zone charge – a measure conceived by his Conservative predecessor Boris Johnson – that rightly tackles older, dirtier vehicles because toxic air is literally killing people.

In the same vein, Housing Secretary Michael Gove has ignited controversy over plans to dismantle water pollution regulations, claiming this will unleash a boost to new housing schemes, with an implication those supporting the rules are an obstacle to progress.

It’s a classic example of the Tories stirring up division to shift focus away from the Government’s shortcomings, including its failure to address the housing crisis.

I hope their strategy backfires because more and more people recognise the need for a balanced approach that combines solutions to transport and housing, for example, with the need for environmental protection.

Regulations are not shackles to growth; they are safeguards to ensure communities, including those within new housing developments, can breathe clean air, access clean water and enjoy a healthy environment.

Green groups are right to sound the alarm over Gove's disregard for water pollution rules that defend our precious waterways.

Northwich has already suffered the consequences of a privatised water industry dumping raw sewage in our local rivers, with scant investment in infrastructure as shareholders profit.

I’m certainly not saying we should be ignoring the housing crisis that plagues our nation. However, the notion that solving one crisis requires exacerbating another is misguided.

Labour's alternative vision includes building 300,000 new homes per year and it’s my view that at least 90,000 should be designated as public housing for social rent.

These homes will not only provide safe and affordable living spaces but would be designed with Net Zero built in, addressing the environmental crisis alongside the housing challenge.

Over the summer we’ve seen the world on fire as a result of climate change. That must be tackled as a matter of urgency. The stakes are too high to play politics with this existential threat to our planet.