Welsh Tories can’t be trusted to keep fracking ban if they came to power, say Lib-Dems
Welsh Tories cannot be trusted to maintain the fracking ban if they came to power in Wales, Welsh Liberal Democrats have claimed.
Commenting on last night’s vote in the House of Commons, Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds said the ordeal has shown not only is our precious Welsh countryside unsafe if the Conservatives ever come to power in Wales, but that the Conservatives are completely unfit to be in power.
The comments come after reports Conservative MPs were manhandled to vote the way the Government wanted them to.
All 13 Welsh Conservative MPs voted to oppose a ban on fracking. Liz Truss herself did not record a vote.
Fracking is currently banned in Wales by the Welsh Government, but the Liberal Democrats have argued that the vote raises serious questions over whether the Conservatives would legalise it if they gained power in Wales.
“The scenes reported in Westminster tonight are not acceptable and accusations of bullying must be investigated fully,” Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds MS said.
“It’s time for Liz Truss to accept that the game is up. She clearly has no control over her party, let alone our economy.
“Families around the country are worried about putting food on the table while the Conservatives are fighting each other like rats in a sack.
“It’s time to end this daily Conservative soap opera and call a general election so we can get rid of this collapsing and failing government.
“On the motion itself, if the Conservatives had backed it, we would have been one step closer to banning this dangerous and unnecessary practice for good.
“While fracking is still currently banned in Wales thanks to the Welsh Government, this vote raises serious concerns about the intentions of the Conservatives if they were to gain power in Wales. Despite Andrew RT Davies having disowned the practice, Welsh Conservative MPs seem to disagree.
“It also paints a wider picture of a Conservative party that treats rural areas with contempt and shows a disregard for farming, nature and the countryside.
“13 Welsh Conservative MPs have also gone against another direct manifesto commitment when they stood in 2019 on a commitment not to support fracking.”
Refused to endorse
Last month the British Geological Society refused to endorse fracking as safe in their report for the government. The House of Commons Environment Committee has previously warned that fracking poses a “risk to groundwater and a risk of polluting surface water”.
They warned too that the need for “considerable quantities of water” for fracking “could pose localised risks to water supplies”.
Government whips are still “considering what action to take” against Tory MPs who abstained in the chaotic fracking vote, Downing Street has said.
Asked whether this meant they are deciding whether to remove the party whip from Tory rebels, the Prime Minister’s official spokesperson said: “I can’t get into party discipline and whether it’s that binary. Again, it’s really not my area.”
Amid confusion over whether Liz Truss voted, the official said: “She did”.
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