LibDem MP under fire over fracking vote

Anti-fracking protest.
Anti-fracking protest.

MSP Fiona McLeod has accused MP Jo Swinson of failing her constituents by not voting for a moratorium on fracking in the UK.

And East Dunbartonshire’s Green Party candidate Ross Greer is calling on Ms Swinson to explain her stance.

Bearsden’s SNP MSP, Ms McLeod, has welcomed the Scottish Government’s suspension on planning consents for unconventional onshore oil and gas wells, including fracking.

She slammed Ms Swinson for voting against the moratorium at Westminster.

Last week the Scottish Parlaiment annouonced a moratorium on fracking in Scotland.

Ms McLeod said: “The announcement will be welcomed across East Dunbartonshire, where residents have been alarmed by the gung-ho stance taken by the Westminster Government.

“They were failed by their MP this week. The SNP Government has acted where Labour and Lib Dem MPs failed and have once again shown that Jo Swinson is more interested in remaining in government than concrete action.”

Ross Greer said: “Whilst Labour’s abstention on the fracking moratorium was inexplicable, Jo Swinson’s vote against it was simply inexcusable.

“Communities across Scotland are hugely concerned by the vast swathes of land which have already seen fracking licenses issued by her Westminster Government.

“This was an opportunity to halt the threat of this dangerous practice, but Jo Swinson and her colleagues rejected it. How could this decision possibly have been made in the best interests of her constituents?”

Ms Swinson said: “The challenge for energy policy is to deliver a secure supply and cut carbon emissions, improving energy efficiency and helping households with bills.

“Increasing renewable energy is a key part of this, which is why the UK Government has set up the Green Investment Bank which will boost renewables and unlock more than £5billion of investment.

“Gas will continue to be a significant part of the answer and it doesn’t make sense to rule out possible new domestic sources of gas, especially given the volatility of many regions that we currently rely on for imported gas.

“I take the environmental concerns for fracking seriously, which is why strict environmental safeguards are essential, led by the scientific evidence. As there are no plans for fracking in East Dunbartonshire anyway this moratorium will not directly affect our area, but it’s worth noting the SNP did not rule out fracking in the future.”