- Tyne Tees
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Lord Howell says he didn't actually mean the North East when he said it had "desolate" areas which would be good for fracking.
He now says he meant "unloved" areas of the North West.
Lord Howell said that the North East of England was not "in his mind at all" and he meant "more the drilling going on off the Lancashire coast".
The Tory peer was forced to apologise on Tuesday after saying in the House of Lords there was "plenty of room" for controversial hydraulic fracturing drilling to take place in the North East without affecting the environment.
He's now says: "What was in my mind was much more the drilling going on off the Lancashire coast. But it came out of my mouth as the North East, which you can blame me for rightly. And that has created a great furore. The North East wasn't in my mind at all."
Kenny Toal has a full round up of the reactions to the comments by Lord Howell that the North East has many desolate areas which would be ideal for fracking.
Blyth Valley MP Ronnie Campbell has hit out at comments by Lord Howell that parts of the North East are "desolate" and a perfect area for fracking for underground gas.
He said Lord Howell showed why "doddery lords who are going gaga should retire, and the sooner the better."
The row over a comment from a Conservative peer that parts of the North East are "desolate" could actually help the region. That's the opinion of one of the people whose job is to attract visitors to Northumberland.
Northumberland Tourism Development Manager Jude Leitch said she wanted to thank Lord Howell for his comment, in a debate over fracking, because of the opportunity it had given people to sing the praises of the region.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has defended the North East after senior Conservative Peer Lord Howell said parts of the region were "desolate" and good areas for fracking for underground gas.
Mr Clegg said the North East could become a national hub for excellence in the new green economy. He said the region has some "profound economic and social challenges" but has huge promise as well, which had been recognised by investors like Nissan
The Journal - George Osborne’s father-in-law Lord Howell made a public apology after having described the North East as “desolate” and “uninhabited”.
The Northern Echo - This paper is asking readers to prove Lord Howell wrong by sending in shots of North East beauty spots.