Tory conference: Party divided over fracking policy

The government’s commitment to promoting shale gas extraction in England came under fire from a group of party activists and green groups on Sunday during the Conservative Party conference.

Continued support for the policy, which has become increasingly controversial since licences were first awarded for onshore exploration in 2008, threatened to harm the party in the next general elections, warned panelists at a fringe event. 

Diane Cheesebrough, a member of campaign group Frack Free United and the Conservative Party, pointed to 40 marginal seats that could swing in favour of the Labour or the Liberal Democrats, which have both pledged to introduce a moratorium on fracking, in the next general election. 

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