Fracking should be ‘ruled out once and for all’, says net zero tsar following vote fallout

The MP appointed to lead a review of the government’s approach to reaching net zero has said that ministers should “rule out fracking once and for all” after a Labour motion to ban fracking led to political chaos and ultimately the demise of prime minister Liz Truss.

Chris Skidmore, the Conservative MP for Kingswood, who is currently carrying out an economic review of the government’s net zero strategy, tweeted that there are “important lessons to be learned” from the vote to ban fracking.

The motion was defeated by 230 votes to 326, with 36 Tory MPs abstaining from the vote. The vote led to reports of “total, absolute, abject chaos” in the House of Commons, following conflicting reports over the consequences of voting in favour of the motion.

The chaos ultimatley ended up being the final straw that saw Prime Minister Liz Truss resign after just 45 days in office.

READ MORE: ‘A sorry saga’: Liz Truss's environmental legacy

In response to the announcement of a new leadership election, Skidmore tweeted: “All candidates for the leadership contest must never forget the importance of protecting our environment and climate for future generations. Voters across the country care passionately about protecting nature & taking action on climate change.

“At the same time net zero and the transition is generating huge economic and regional growth opportunities for the UK We must not lose the leadership we have shown.

“All candidates should commit to not rowing back on our climate commitments.”

He concluded by decrying fracking and saying “our future energy security depends upon home-owned renewable and clean power”.

This comes as it emerged that the government could face a legal challenge on its decision-making surrounding the lifting of the fracking moratorium in September.

Skidmore, who is the former energy minister who signed net zero into law, abstained from Wednesday’s vote on principle and said that he was “prepared to face the consequences of that decision”. For now, it appears that he is continuing with his review after he posted on Twitter that he had visited the Heynsham nuclear power plant on Thursday.