Prime Minister Liz Truss has not ruled out bringing fracking back to Lancashire in a "disastrous" interview on local radio.
Ms Truss said fracking will only proceed if consent is obtained from local communities but she couldn’t explain exactly what “local consent” looks like.
The Prime Minister was quizzed by BBC Radio Lancashire presenter Graham Liver during the interview and says she has never visited Lancashire’s former fracking site on Preston New Road.
During the interview she said: “We will only press ahead with fracking in areas where there is local community support for that.
“Fracking is carried out perfectly safely in various parts of the world and the business secretary will make sure that any fracking that takes place is safe.
“We have to be very clear about why we are doing this. The UK has become dependent on global energy prices.
She continued: “The UK has become dependent on global energy prices. We have seen through Vladimir Putin’s appalling war in Ukraine how energy prices have shot up and Russia has used the fact that it produces gas as a way of exerting pressure on other countries.
“We simply don’t want to be in that position so what I want to see is more home-grown energy in the UK.”
"That means using more resources in the north sea, more renewables and more nuclear and it also means fracking in areas where there is local support."
Graham Liver then asked about “what local consent looks like” and said Fylde MP, Mark Menzies, asked her to outline how local consent will be given. Ms Truss did not have a clear explanation.
She said: “Well… the energy secretary will be laying out in more detail exactly what that looks like, but it does mean making sure there is local support to go ahead.”
“It sounds like you don’t know,” Graham said.
Ms Truss replied: “There are various detailed issued to be worked through. I can assure Mark Menzies I will make sure there is local consent if we are to go ahead in any particular area with fracking.”
Graham said fracking has not received backing from local MPs and said, “the science behind it hasn’t changed”.
He asked: “Why can’t you tell us there won’t be a return to fracking in Lancashire?”
Ms Truss said: “I don’t accept the premise of your question.
“We need to explore where there is and isn’t local consent and we are still doing that work. I don’t think we should rule out the whole of Lancashire.”
Graham then asked if the prime minister knew where the Preston New Road fracking site is.
Liz said: “I don’t think I’ve been to that site in the past”.
“Shouldn’t you?” Graham asked.
After a short period of silence Ms Truss said: “Well… as I’ve said we will only go ahead with projects where there is local consent I am very clear about that.
“If there is a concern about a particular site those concerns will be looked at and taken into account.”
Since appearing on the radio station Ms Truss has faced criticism for her answers to Graham’s questions.
Following the interview a listener called in to the station to say: "I'm not even sure the Prime Minister knew where Lancashire was".
Others have taken to social media.
Greenpeace UK tweeted: "We actually DO know where Preston New Road is".
Others tweeted saying: "She hasn't got a clue".
However, there were others in the area who think fracking should go ahead.
The prime minister appeared on eight different local BBC radio stations throughout the morning in the lead up to the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham.
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