Labour plan to ban fracking welcomed by campaigners

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell meeting anti-fracking protesters in Lancashire Credit: John McDonnell | Twitter

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell MP says Labour would ban fracking if it were in power.

Speaking on a visit to a fracking site in Lancashire, Mr McDonnell said: “The purpose of today’s visit was to, first of all, come along and listen to hear about the operation itself and the implications of it and also the operation with regard to the policing, but also it was to take back a message to parliament and my colleagues there that we need to give you all the support we possibly can.”

In a social media post following his visit, Mr McDonnell said: "Labour will ban fracking when we go into government".

Third Energy is expected to begin fracking at a site near the village of Kirby Misperton in North Yorkshire on Tuesday 19th September, after delivering a formal seven-day notification of commencement of development to North Yorkshire County Council last week.

Despite a series of protests, initial permission has been granted for the scheme - which will involve drilling into the earth and injecting rock with fluid to release gas.

Mr McDonnell's remarks have been welcomed by anti-fracking campaigners.

A spokesperson for the group Frack Free Ryedale told ITV News Tyne Tees the support of the Official Opposition was 'huge'.