West Cumbria Mine: questions over Prime Minister Boris Johnson's coal comments

Boris Johnson's comments on coal prompted questions over a proposed mine in west Cumbria. Credit: PA Images

Comments by the Prime Minister on coal have led to Boris Johnson being questioned on whether he supports a new mine in west Cumbria.

At a question-and-answer session for children this morning, the Prime Minister was asked if he was "still going to support new coal mines in the UK".

In response, Mr Johnson said:

This prompted questions about what his comments could mean for a proposed mine in Cumbria.

West Cumbria Mining has submitted an application for a coking coal mine off the coast of Whitehaven. This material is used to make steel.

The plans for Woodhouse Colliery were first unveiled in 2014. In March this year, the government intervened in the process, and announced an inquiry, the public hearings of which ended at the beginning of this month.

The planning inspector will now consider their recommendation, with the Government then deciding if the mine will go ahead.

When asked about the remarks' impact on this proposal, a spokesperson for the Prime Minister said:

The Prime Minister made a similar remark during an interview with ITV Border's political correspondent Tom Sheldrick earlier this month.

The final decision on the mine will be made by theSecretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Michael Gove.

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