The Department of Energy and Climate Change’s stance on clean energy has been scrutinised this morning in a fiery Westminster Hall Debate.

The formal debate was achieved by former shadow energy secretary Caroline Flint, who opened the proceedings by stating reductions to the feed-in tariff and renewables obligation were “economically illiterate” and “political short-termism at its worst”.

The format of the debate allows for backbenchers to put forward their views for roughly four minutes before frontbench representatives summarised. Energy minister Andrea Leadsom was present to respond to specific concerns raised, before Flint was allowed a short summary of proceedings. A time limit of 90 minutes is strictly enforced.

DECC’s raft of cuts to clean energy support frameworks was attacked by MPs across the spectrum. Labour MP Jonathan Reynolds said that the government was either “making no decision or poor decisions” and added that it “has to start doing better” on renewables.

Scottish National Party MP John McNally meanwhile said that the UK was “going nowhere” because of the policy uncertainty that he said “doesn’t make sense”.

Sunderland Central MP for Labour Julie Elliot added: “There has been wave after wave of policies that have deterred investors and confused consumers… it appears the UK is going against the tide, and swimming alone.”

Representing Labour’s frontbench since joining new shadow energy secretary Lisa Nandy’s shadow DECC team, Alan Whitehead sought to question whether or not DECC would be able to fulfil its duties given forthcoming cuts to its budget under the spending review and claimed cuts to solar subsidies when the technology is “so close to grid parity” would be “reckless”.

In her reply, Leadsom lauded the government’s recent decision to phase out coal in favour of gas and glossed over recent policy decisions as necessary to protect energy bills while delivering security of supply, which is now a key directive for the government.

However the proceedings threatened to boil over as Leadsom repeatedly rejected attempts to intervene – allowed under Westminster Hall Debate rules – before chair Mark Bayley stepped in to call for order.

In her summary of the debate, Flint launched an impassioned plea for the government to protect the renewables industry. “What we have seen is a fragmenting of policies that has harmed this wonderful sector. It is a one-nation sector. It reaches out from beyond London and the south east,” she said.