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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Peer U-turn over "desolate" North East

Lord Howell Credit: ITV News

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."

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