Rishi Sunak reintroduces fracking ban Liz Truss had lifted

Credit: PA

The prime minister has reintroduced the moratorium on fracking in England, Downing Street has confirmed.

Rishi Sunak's official spokesman gave the confirmation after Mr Sunak was pressed on the issue at his first Prime Minister’s Questions.

The newly-appointed Conservative leader told the Commons he “stands by” the 2019 Conservative Party manifesto and insisted his government will deliver on what was agreed at the UN Cop26 Glasgow climate talks.

Conservative former prime minister Liz Truss had lifted the ban, as she argued it would strengthen the country’s energy supply.

Political Correspondent Libby Wiener reports on the prime minister's decision to reintroduce a fracking ban in England

Green Party MP Caroline Lucas said in the Commons: “Yesterday, he [Rishi Sunak] promised to fix her [Liz Truss] mistakes as well as to uphold the party’s 2019 manifesto.

“So, if he is a man of his word, will he start by reversing the green light she gave to fracking since it’s categorically not been shown to be safe, and instead maintain the moratorium that was pledged in that very manifesto that he promised to uphold?”

The prime minister replied: “I have already said I stand by the manifesto on that. But what I would say is that I’m proud that this government has passed the landmark Environment Act, putting more protections for the natural environment than we have ever had with a clear plan to deliver.

“And I can give the honourable lady my commitment that we will deliver on all those ambitions. We will deliver on what we said at Cop [Cop26] because we care deeply about passing our children an environment in a better state than we found it ourselves.”

The reintroduction of the fracking ban comes a week after the government - then still under Liz Truss - defeated Labour’s bid to ban fracking amid farcical scenes in the Commons.

Labour’s motion was defeated by 230 votes to 326 in what was initially designated by the Tory whips as a “confidence motion” in Ms Truss’s government.

The chaotic scenes in the Commons - during which the now-former chief whip and her deputy resigned and then unresigned - led to calls for an investigation after MPs were allegedly “physically manhandled" and "bullied”.

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