The Prime Minister has just resigned and the government continues to fall apart. But I am determined to continue to represent my constituents on urgent matters such as climate change and the energy price crisis.
Last night I voted to ban fracking once and for all.
Labour put a binding vote to the Commons yesterday because Jacob Rees-Mogg has said he will overturn the ban on fracking without a vote. He plans to do this despite a Tory manifesto pledge in 2019 to ban fracking.
Unfortunately, our motion was voted down by 326 to 230, in a chaotic vote where the government forced Tory MPs to vote against their constituents’ interests (more on this below).
We’ll keep fighting fracking. It makes no sense.
Energy experts agree fracking would not solve our energy security problems or significantly reduce gas prices for people in the UK. But it will increase carbon emissions, pollution and the risk of earthquakes.
And extracting shale gas in this way makes no sense economically. It’s up to nine times more expensive than generating energy from renewable sources.
In Labour we have a much better plan. Instead of investing in this dangerous technology, we will expand renewable energy to make the UK a world-leading clean energy superpower with a zero-carbon electricity system by 2030. This will slash energy bills for good, create hundreds of thousands of good jobs, and make the UK energy secure.
The Tories’ terrible decision to lift the fracking ban was a symptom of a broken and incompetent government that has run out of ideas. This incompetence was also on display in the Commons last night during the vote.
The government originally stated that this motion would be a vote of confidence for them, putting huge pressure on their own MPs to oppose it, even though many of whom are very opposed to fracking and represent constituents who are opposed to fracking.
This descended into chaos and confusion when the Minister said it wasn’t actually motion of confidence and this was a matter for the government whips. This left Tory MPs confused and angry. There were unpleasant scenes outside the voting lobbies as Tory Ministers harangued their own MPs to vote against their constituents wishes.
At that point it appears the government chief whip and deputy chief whip resigned, though government sources now state they are back in their jobs.
I was disappointed to see such an important issue reduced to a chaotic pantomime by this government. MPs should be able to act in the interests of their constituents and the country. And while this chaos continues, people are struggling with the cost of living, the rising cost of mortgages, the uncertainty about the future. All have been made worse by incompetence and mistakes in recent weeks.
This is a Tory crisis made in Downing Street. Liz Truss may have resigned but it’s time for a change of government. We need a General Election now.