Energy minister insists 'no plans' to lift fracking suspension

Anti-fracking protest

Kwasi Kwarteng told MPs there are "no plans whatsoever" for the suspension of fracking operations in South Yorkshire and around the country to be lifted.

He added there will be no fracking "for the foreseeable" future anywhere in England.

The controversial process was halted in November last year over earthquake fears.

The U-turn came ahead of the general election and followed controversies in counties including Yorkshire.

Mr Kwarteng, replying to an adjournment debate on fracking proposals in South Yorkshire, told the Commons:

"As a consequence of the moratorium the Government has made it very clear that we will take a presumption against issuing any further hydraulic fracturing consents in this country.

"I think this sends a clear message not only to the sector but to the local communities concerned that fracking, on current evidence - and I stress on current evidence - will not be taken forward in England nor is it likely that it ever will be maintained or taken up again unless there is compelling new evidence.

He added:

Alexander Stafford, Conservative MP for Rother Valley gave an impassioned speech in Parliament last night and said the world has moved on from fracking.

He said that one of his electoral promises was to stand up against fracking for Rother Valley, Harthill and Woodsetts.