The Prime Minister
has said the government will be making an announcement “shortly” on fracking in the UK. Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions this lunchtime, Boris Johnson said the statement was prompted by what he described as “the very considerable anxieties” legitimately being raised about fracking-induced earthquakes.
The Prime Minister’s comment followed a question by the shadow energy minister, Alan Whitehead (Labour Southampton Test), who said the Labour Party’s election manifesto would include a “full ban on the extraction of fossil fuels by fracking”.
Dr Whitehead asked what chance the Prime Minister thought he had in matching Labour’s offer. He referred to a report in today’s Guardian newspaper that the Conservative manifesto would be written by a lobbyist for the fracking firm, Cuadrilla.
Yesterday, the Fylde MP Mark Menzies reported that he had visited the energy minister, Kwasi Kwarteng, to ask for a permanent moratorium on fracking in the constituency.
The pro-fracking group, Lancashire For Shale, which has backed Cuadrilla’s shale gas site near Blackpool, is reportedly being disbanded. The group’s chairman, Lee Petts, said “I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the interest and support you’ve shown over the years, your attendance at our many events, and the efforts you’ve made to have your say and make the case for shale gas in Lancashire. I would be very happy to stay in touch personally, and invite you connect with me on LinkedIn here should you wish to”.