How green is Jo Swinson?

If Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson is renowned for having a “chequered history” with respect to environmental issues, as an article in The Ecologist claimed earlier this year, then her decision to accept £14,000 in donations from the director of a company that holds fracking licences may have played a major role in earning her that reputation.

These donations, from Mark Petterson of Warwick Energy, the piece went on to point out, came after she had voted against an 18-month ban on fracking and against requiring frackers to get environmental permits.

Two and two, the article didn’t need to say, equals four – Swinson was in cahoots with the fracking industry.

And yet, how much scrutiny does this analysis bear? Petterson is a “lifelong supporter of the Liberals/SDP/Lib Dems” and, he tells ENDS, his company’s interest in oil and gas has always been a small part of its business. 

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