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Tories make Labour fracking motion ‘confidence vote’ in Liz Truss’s Government

Conservatives who favour a ban will be challenged to vote with the Government or face losing the whip.

19 October 2022

Tory MPs have been told a Labour vote in the Commons seeking to ban fracking is being treated as a “confidence motion” in Liz Truss’s embattled Government.

Conservative deputy chief whip Craig Whittaker warned his MPs that Wednesday afternoon’s vote is a “100% hard” three-line whip.

The dozens of Conservatives who oppose fracking face being kicked out of the parliamentary party if they do not back the Government’s controversial end to the moratorium in England.

Fracking site in Lancashire
The Cuadrilla fracking site at Preston New Road in Blackpool Lancashire (Peter Byrne/PA)

Labour sources said the Tories had walked into their trap and are preparing online adverts to target every MP who backs giving the controversial shale gas extraction the go ahead.

If passed, the opposition day debate motion would guarantee Commons time for a Bill banning fracking once and for all.

Mr Whittaker wrote to Tory MPs, saying: “This is not a motion on fracking. *This is a confidence motion in the Government.*

“We cannot, under any circumstances, let the Labour Party take control of the order paper and put through their own legislation and whatever other bits of legislation they desire.

“We are voting NO and I reiterate, this is a hard 3 line whip with all slips withdrawn.”

The Government amendment supporting giving fracking the go-ahead in areas where local consent is deemed to have been given was also made a three-line whip.

“I know this is difficult for some colleagues, but we simply cannot allow this,” Mr Whittaker wrote.

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