Gordon's letter on today's Fracking vote

Headshot.jpgGordon has written to constituents, who have contacted him about today's Commons vote on on whether to allow fracking to taking place in national parks - he will voting against the proposals.

Thank you for writing to alert me and voice your concerns about today's underhand Government vote on fracking.

I say underhand because I was aware of it and will certainly be voting against the proposal to allow fracking in national parks etc. The Government is using a 'deferred division' mechanism which means there is no debate on the floor of the House on the proposal, only a paper ballot.

This is an abuse of the Parliamentary process - they should and could have allowed time for a floor debate on so crucial an issue. There are precedents for this - the Labour Government allowed a floor debate and vote in both the Commons and the Lords on similar subsidiary legislation over the casino issue for Blackpool and Manchester in the 2000s.

The Government are doing this because they have reneged on promises to protect national parks that they gave back in January when they were threatened with defeat on an amendment to restrict this and other fracking areas in the Commons. The amendment was withdrawn on those assurances - the Government once it was elected in May went back on its word. They effectively misled or some would say lied to the Commons and the British people and now don't want the embarrassment of having to discuss it in Parliament. This is a disgraceful, cynical and grubby manoeuvre the like of which I have not seen on such an important topic in my 18 years as an MP.

Tory MPs and particularly Lancashire ones should think very hard before voting and going along with this squalid manoeuvre today and should be mindful of their broader responsibilities to their local constituents on it. Both I and my Labour colleague Cat Smith have already protested and spoke at the Committee which looked at these proposals in October - I have attached a copy of the Gazette piece which summarised the situation then well.

Gordon 

To see the online version of the Gazette's article from October click here . 

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