A vote on fracking tonight (Wednesday) has split North Yorkshire Conservative MPs.
The Government defeated Labour’s bid to ban fracking amid farcical scenes in the House of Commons.
Conservative whips initially stated the vote on whether to allocate Commons time to consider legislation to stop shale gas extraction was being treated as a “confidence motion” in Liz Truss’s embattled Government.
But after a series of Tory MPs signalled they would not take part in the vote, climate minister Graham Stuart caused confusion by telling the Commons: “Quite clearly this is not a confidence vote.”
Labour’s motion was defeated by 230 votes to 326, majority 96, but the Commons heard there were “very strong rumours” the Government chief whip Wendy Morton had resigned.
Allegations of bullying were also levelled against Government whips, with Labour former minister Chris Bryant saying some MPs had been “physically manhandled into another lobby and being bullied”.
Fracking is a contentious issue in North Yorkshire, with sites in Ryedale earmarked for the controversial process.
It was banned in 2019, but the ban was overturned last month amid the energy crisis.
So how did our MPs vote?
Labour wants to ban fracking, and its motion was to secure Commons time to do just that.
Among the Conservatives voting against the motion (and with the Government) were:
- Andrew Jones (Harrogate and Knaresborough)
- Rishi Sunak (Richmond)
- Robert Goodwill (Scarborough and Whitby)
- Julian Smith (Skipton and Ripon)
- Kevin Hollinrake (Thirsk and Malton)
- Julian Sturdy (York Outer).
Among the 38 Conservatives who did not record a vote was
- Nigel Adams (Selby and Ainsty)
Labour’s York Central MP Rachael Maskell voted in favour of her party’s motion.