Desolate NE fine for fracking

Fracking should be carried out in the North East of England where there are "large, desolate areas", says former energy secretary Lord Howell of Guildford.

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  1. Paul Brand - ITV Political Correspondent

Baroness Quin writes to Lord Howell over comments

Baroness Quin has just sent me an abridged copy of her letter to Lord Howell over his 'desolate' North East comments. In it she asks, "what were the 'desolate' and 'uninhabited' areas to which you were referring?"

"The North East's areas of population are fortunate in being surrounded by areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, whether it be the Northumberland National Park, the North Pennines, Teesdale or the North York Moors. These landscapes rival anything to be found in the UK."

"It would be good if you could assure me that you believe that all residents in the UK wherever they live should have equal rights to be consulted and have their views taken into account in proposals for energy exploitation and other measures."

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Lord Howell causes #desolate to trend on Twitter

  1. Paul Brand - ITV Political Correspondent

Lord Howell's comments are 'ignorant'

Labour peer and former Gateshead MP Baroness Quin says Lord Howell's comments show his 'ignorance' about the North. She'll write to the Tory peer, who's also Chancellor George Osborne's father-in-law, asking him to clarify what he meant by 'uninhabited and desolate' parts of the North East.

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