Fracking opposition is core Labour policy, shadow chancellor tells Westminster rally.
TAP – not surprising when you realise that most constituencies threatened by fracking are Conservative held rural seats. With Tories removing the right of Councils to affect planning decisions and giving rights to corporations to have ‘permitted development’ rights, there could be a big backlash which pushes the Conservatives out of office, and brings in Corbyn and Labour. Why else would Labour’s heavyweights be publicly addressing the issue?
The shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, told anti-fracking campaigners at a rally in Westminster that the Labour Party stood in solidarity with them. And he predicted opposition to fracking would be a key issue at the next election.
Speaking at the gathering in Parliament Square, Mr McDonnell said:
Mr McDonnell said:
Mr McDonnell was one of several politicians to address the rally, which saw more than 100 women from across the UK gather opposite the Houses of Parliament to demonstrate their opposition to fracking.
Many wore Suffragette costumes to mark the 100 years since some women received the right to vote in parliamentary elections.
Mr McDonnell said Labour was mobilising its movement against fracking.
Mr McDonnell said Labour had expected “significant opposition” from parts of its movement to the decision to include a ban on fracking in the party’s manifesto at the last election. But he said:
He said Labour was looking at policies to build human rights and climate protection into trade deals and to encourage pensions funds to invest in decarbonisation.
The rally also heard from Labour MPs from constituencies in shale gas areas.
Ruth George (above), Labour MP for High Peak in Derbyshire, criticised ministers over plans to change the planning rules for shale gas developments.
A parliamentary debate earlier today heard arguments against the proposals to make non-fracking shale gas plans permitted development, without the need for planning permission. The government is also proposing to give decision-making on major shale gas production schemes to a minister on the advice of a planning inspector. (DrillOrDrop report coming soon)
Ms George said:
Mike Amesbury, Labour MP for Weaver Vale in Cheshire, said:
Rachel Maskell (Labour, York Central) said the battle against fracking was not over.
The Green Party’s Caroline Lucas described the government as cowardly for announcing consent for fracking at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site on the last day of parliament before the summer holiday. She told the women who protest regularly outside the site:
The Green Party’s peer, Baroness Jenny Jones, said the injunction granted to Cuadrilla for Preston New Road and surrounding roads “deserves to be broken”. She urged the rally: