Fury as Tory rebels plot with Labour to stop fracking from going ahead

KG3WFK Fracking firm Cuadrilla drilling for shale gas in Lancashire, pictured the drilling rig

TORY rebels plotting with Labour to block fracking were last night told they risked killing off jobs and economic growth.

The warning came as Climate Minister Graham Stuart insisted shale gas extraction would help slash emissions currently created by importing energy sources from around the world.

Fury has erupted as Tory rebels plot with Labour to block fracking

He said fracking, along with drilling for North Sea gas and oil, was “good for the economy, good for jobs and stops us giving money to dubious regimes”.

He was backed by one of Britain’s leading businessmen Sir Jim Ratcliffe, founder of chemicals giant Ineos.

Mr Ratcliffe, worth £6billion, said he was “confident” there were lots of untapped resources under the UK.

He told an event hosted by the FT: “I do not understand the opposition to fracking. It’s onshore oil and gas — that’s all it is.”

Labour is targeting dozens of Tories to oppose fracking after PM Liz Truss lifted a moratorium last month, as long as there is local consent.

Energy firms say bills could be cut by 25 per cent for those nearby.

And Tory MP Lee Anderson hit out: “Politicians who have no idea what it’s like to struggle to pay a bill should not stand in the way of people who want fracking in their area, where they are assured of suitable compensation or reduced bills.”

Ex-Cabinet Minister Lord Lilley asked in the House of Lords: “Isn’t the scaremongering of the anti-frackers as bad as that of the anti-vaxxers — and should they be treated similarly?”

On Monday night, Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg met with around 40 MPs to allay environmental fears.

Rebels and Labour could hijack future planning legislation or energy bills going through the Commons to stop the drilling from going ahead.