A carbon footprint that would make Al Gore blush.
He is the climate change minister who pledged to ‘lead by example’ in the fight against global warming.
But Charles Hendry is facing accusations of hypocrisy after buying himself a 20-bedroom castle – with a potentially massive carbon footprint – as a second home.
Blair Castle in Ayrshire, which went on the market for £2.5million, has three storeys, 16 bathrooms and a heated outdoor swimming pool set in 260 acres of beautiful countryside.
It is likely to rack up colossal energy bills during the cold Scottish winter if Mr Hendry plans to heat all 14 bedrooms, two kitchens and four reception rooms in the main castle.
There is also an additional east wing containing another four bedrooms and a two-bedroom ‘housekeeper’s flat’.
It is a recipe for a huge carbon footprint, even before factoring in Mr Hendry’s drive from his Sussex constituency, which is a 965-mile round trip.
The 52-year-old minister has been criticised for his purchase of the luxury home, as his portfolio includes encouraging homeowners to cut their energy use.
In a speech last September, he said: ‘We have pledged to be the greenest government ever. We must lead by example. Leadership from government departments is something we cannot – and will not – shirk.
‘We are not asking others to do things we will not do ourselves.’
Labour MP John Robertson, who is on the Energy and Climate Change Committee, said last night: ‘This is totally out of touch. As a minister telling people to turn down their heating, this will spark fury. There are a lot of pensioners in my constituency who find it hard to heat one room, let alone 20 rooms.’
The minister has claimed he is vigilant about not wasting energy at home, saying recently that he never leaves his television on standby, keeps the thermostat down and has replaced all the lightbulbs in his home with energy-saving ones.