Crunch vote on fracking tonight will force Tory MPs to prove if they back Liz Truss or want her out

Prime Minister Liz Truss departs 10 Downing Street, London, to attend Prime Minister's Questions at the Houses of Parliament. Picture date: Wednesday October 19, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story POLITICS Tory. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

TORY MPs will tonight be forced to prove their loyalty to Liz Truss in a bombshell vote that could lead to fracking being banned again.

The motion, triggered by Labour, demands that time in the Commons be allocated to a bill that would BAN shale gas extraction, just weeks after a moratorium was lifted by the PM.

Liz Truss has told Tory MPs they MUST back her today in a vote on fracking

Fracking is supported by loads of Tory MPs but a sizeable group of them hate it because of environmental concerns and its unpopularity with constituents.

Some Conservative MPs have held secret meetings with Labour, where they’ve plotted about how to force a ban back again.

Today the PM warned rebel rousers in her midst that if they don’t back her in the vote, they will lose the Tory whip.

An embattled Ms Truss is on tenterhooks after loads of Tories lashed out at her over the fall-out from the mini budget.

The disastrous package of unfunded tax cuts sent mortgages soaring and the pound plummeting.

It was torn to shreds this week by Jeremy Hunt, who was dragged in by Ms Truss to replace Kwasi Kwarteng as Chancellor.

A message sent to Tory MPs today from the Whips Office warned: “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.

“We are voting NO and I reiterate, this is a hard three line whip with all slips withdrawn.”  

Ed Miliband MP, Shadow Climate Change and Net Zero Secretary, said: “Labour will stand with communities in opposing the Conservatives’ dodgy plans to impose expensive, dirty, and dangerous fracking on the British people. 

“Fracking would make no difference to energy prices, and could risk the health of local communities, nature, and water supplies.”

Thangam Debbonaire, Labour’s Shadow Leader of the House of Commons, said: “The consequence of making this a confidence vote is that if the government loses the motion on fracking, the Prime Minister will resign and the government will fall. The Tories must urgently confirm this is the case.”