MP’s look of disbelief as Jacob Rees-Mogg claims ‘Putin funds anti-fracking campaigns’

Shocked Labour MP Cat Smith appeared stunned as Jacob Rees-Mogg told her some anti-fracking campaigns may have been funded by Vladimir Putin. The exchange came as Mr Rees-Mogg, who was recently appointed as Liz Truss’ Business Secretary, defended the decision to allow fracking to go ahead on the grounds of energy security.

Mr Rees-Mogg had been hauled before the Commons with two urgent questions from Labour to explain the Government’s new policies on reducing energy bills for businesses and issuing 100 new shale gas licences in places like Lancashire, Somerset and Sussex.

The Business Secretary came under attack from both sides of the House over the fracking plans due to concerns he will push for a change in planning laws to end the need for local consent on allowing fracking to go ahead.

There were also attacks on the Government for putting aside climate change targets by allowing the production of more fossil fuels in the UK.

But Mr Rees-Mogg insisted it would “simply replace the gas we get from Russia” as outlined the case for energy security.

He turned on shadow Business Secretary Ed Miliband suggesting the former Labour leader wanted to leave British energy in the hands of Mr Putin.

He said: “We have—all of us—constituents with gas boilers, and we are going to have them for many years to come. Do we really want them to be dependent on strange dictatorships that wage war in this world, or do we want to have our own security, and our own supplies?

“Do we want to maximise what we receive from the North sea and from underneath our feet? This seems to me to be just good common sense.”

But it was his response to Labour Lancaster and Fleetwood MP Cat Smith which caused raised eyebrows.

She said: “One thing that the Secretary of State is not aware of is the strength of opposition to fracking in communities like mine in Lancashire.”

She noted there had been “huge police presences” just to manage the protests against fracking her constituency.

But she was visibly shocked when he hit back, saying: “A number of people have said that fracking is environmentally unfriendly.

“It is more friendly than importing LNG from abroad. It is a lower carbon footprint and this is fundamentally important.

“And I am well aware there have been objections to fracking.

“But I would also note there have been stories widely reported that some of the opposition to fracking has been funded by Mr Putin’s regime.”

Mr Rees-Mogg suggested those who opposed fracking were Luddites, which enraged another Lancashire MP from his party.

Fylde Tory MP Mark Menzies said: “There is nothing Luddite about the people of Lancashire or Fylde. I want to say how disappointed I am that Parliament was not informed about this issue before the media was, and that as a local Member of Parliament, I was not given that courtesy, despite having requested information for two weeks by contacting the right Hon. Gentleman via his Parliamentary Private Secretary.

“I have sent letters, I have sent WhatsApps—nothing back. Can we be crystal clear on one thing? At the Manchester hustings—this is a matter of public record and people can find the clip—the Prime Minister made it crystal clear, no ifs, no buts, no caveats, that fracking would take place in the United Kingdom only where there was local consent. That was crystal clear.

“If the Prime Minister is to remain a woman of her word, and a woman in whom we can believe—and I believe she is—will the Secretary of State outline how that local consent will be given and demonstrated in my constituency of Fylde?”

Blair quietly helping Truss on Brexit as he holds secret talks with EU [REVEAL]

Liz Truss has trashed Boris Johnson’s legacy in 24 hours [INSIGHT]

Do you think a trade deal with US is a priority? POLL [REACT]

Until the Ukraine war, around four percent of gas coming to the UK was supplied by Russia but there’s since been a drive for self-sufficiency.

Mr Rees-Mogg told MPs gas exploration was “a temporary measure” to allow “exciting new projects time” such as new nuclear power stations and carbon capture.

The Truss government is set to issue around 100 licenses, the Prime Minister has said fracking will only go ahead in areas that support it. However, a country charity representing over 40,000 people has signalled its opposition.

Under current rules, drilling must stop if it triggers tremors of 0.5 or more on the Richter scale. But some experts have claimed that tremors naturally occur at this level and with a minimum intensity that it is almost impossible to be felt above the ground. In fact, the Royal Society says tremors up to magnitude 2 are not likely to be felt above ground.

Mr Rees-Mogg believes the 0.5 limit is “too low” and “will be reviewed to see a proportionate level”, despite The Country Side Charity (CPRE) warning that this will spark “fury off the Richter scale”.

Добавить комментарий

The 49-year-old former British long-distance runner, and mother of two…
Scientists say the psychedelic ingredient in the mushrooms could prove…
Labour takes on Liz Truss with major policy blitz
But the Labour leader faces criticism from within his own party over his refusal to back strikers – as a…
‘Be bolder!’ Andy Burnham launches attack on Starmer as he admits leadership hopes
Andy Burnham warned Labour needed to be “bolder” as he criticised Sir Keir Starmer for being too timid in his…
  • 1 час, 13 минут назад 25.09.2022Politics
    Labour takes on Liz Truss with major policy blitz

    But the Labour leader faces criticism from within his own party over his refusal to back strikers – as a poll reveals he is less popular than new Prime Minister Liz Truss.

    And in another headache for Sir Keir, Labour voters want him to join forces with the SNP in a hung Parliament, raising fears of a “coalition of chaos” that could lead to the break-up of the United Kingdom.

    Arriving in Liverpool with wife Victoria yesterday, he aimed to get back on the front foot as delegates gathered for what is seen as a make-or-break annual conference.

    Since Sir Keir took the top’ job in April 2020, politics has been dominated by the Covid crisis, limiting his opportunities to talk about other issues.

    This conference is seen as Labour’s opportunity to set out a wide-ranging policy agenda and his speech on Tuesday will promise a “fairer, greener” Britain.

    Labour’s top team will kick off the rally today with an avalanche of eye-catching proposals which it hopes will be big vote-winners.

    They include: • A massive 3Rs drive in primary schools to help children catch up on lessons they missed during lockdown; • Plans to help ailing high streets with a £1.65billion cut in business rates; • An extra 13,000 beat bobbies and community support officers; • Letting firms who pay taxes on time and treat staff well leap to the front of the queue for government contracts worth £40billion a year; • Tougher regulation of care homes to beef up standards and stop overcharging; • Specialist courts for rape trials so alleged victims are treated with dignity.

    On Wednesday, Shadow education secretary Bridget Phillipson will unveil what she calls “the most ambitious school improvement programme in a generation” after thousands of children whose progress was disrupted by lockdowns began secondary school lacking maths and English skills.

    She told the Sunday Express last night: “The pandemic risks doing permanent damage to children’s education because of the Conservatives’ failure to support properly.” pupils’ recovery.”

    Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves will launch an audacious bid to position Labour as the party of business in her speech tomorrow, with a pledge to cut taxes on employers by £1.65 billion.

    But Sir Keir faces criticism from left-wingers at the conference, including former leader Jeremy Corbyn, who is urging conference delegates to pass a motion demanding the party backs strikes.

    In an email to members of pressure group Momentum, Mr Corbyn said: “Right now, Momentum are campaigning to turn the tide at the party conference, with trade unions and members uniting to pass a motion demanding Labour’s MPs and leadership stand with striking workers. I’m backing the campaign, will you too?”

    There was also a challenge from Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, who urged Labour to “step up” support for trade unions after Sir Keir banned frontbenchers from joining picket lines.

    Mr Burnham told the Sunday Express : “You can’t be neutral when the key workers that we clapped are now fighting for their livelihoods.”

    At the next general election Sir Keir is desperate to avoid a repeat of the 2015 vote, when Tories accused then-Labour leader Ed Miliband of planning a “coalition of chaos” with the independence-driven SNP.

    A Redfield and Wilton Strategies poll for the Sunday Express shows 67 percent of Labour voters want to see a coalition involving the SNP and the Liberal Democrats, if Labour becomes the largest party but fails to win an overall majority.

    But Sir Keir has repeatedly insisted he’ll make no agreements with smaller parties.

    Also in the survey, 41 percent said the Labour leader “looks like someone who will one day be Prime Minister” while 31 percent disagree.

    But asked which leader would make the best Prime Minister, 40 percent named Liz Truss with 35 percent choosing Sir Keir.

  • 1 час, 13 минут назад 25.09.2022Politics
    ‘Be bolder!’ Andy Burnham launches attack on Starmer as he admits leadership hopes

    Andy Burnham warned Labour needed to be “bolder” as he criticised Sir Keir Starmer for being too timid in his policies. The Manchester Mayor said he was supporting the party leader before launching a series of attacks on Sir Keir’s policy agenda.

    “This is the time for Labour to move up and set out an alternative that people can support.

    “I want to be clear, I am supporting Keir, I want to party to unite here in Liverpool, they’ve got us in a position where we have a clear and sustained poll lead which is no small achievement. It’s a big achievement.

    “I think the Government have put out an opportunity now for Labour to put out a programme that connects with ordinary people.

    “So yes, I would say, be bolder, be clear about what we will do.”

    Mr Burnham said it is now “odds on” that the UK will have a Labour government within the next two years as he spoke ahead of the Labour Party conference in Liverpool this week.

    He criticised Sir Keir for failing to back reforming the UK electoral system and not committing to renationalising the energy sector.

    “I do think it’s right to be open-minded about more public control, more public ownership, so we don’t leave ourselves so exposed to energy costs,” he said.

    However, he congratulated Sir Keir and Ed Miliband on their newly announced policy to end dependence on fossil fuels.

    “This is a good bold policy from Keir Starmer and Ed Miliband, this morning,” the mayor of Greater Manchester told Sky News.

    “This is the right way to go – face up to the future rather than going back to the past with fracking, which by the way, would really impact on an area like this where I’m talking to you from now, a former mining area.”

    His latest intervention comes amid continued speculation Mr Burnham hopes to one day challenge Sir Keir for the Labour leadership.

    He admitted this morning he still has ambitions to one day lead the party and said he was “a better politician” having left Westminster.

    Mr Burnham suggested he could return to Parliament as soon as just two years’ time.

    More to follow…

  • 1 час, 13 минут назад 25.09.2022Politics
    ‘Radical? It’s what the Tories said they would do?’ Ed Miliband stumped on energy pledge

    Former Labour leader Ed Miliband has been left stuttering after he was called out on what he claimed were “radical” Labour policies. Speaking to Sophy Ridge on Sky News, Mr Miliband said Labour’s new pledge to have net zero electricity by 2030 was “the kind of radical action we need”, adding that, in contrast to the mini-budget announcement from the Conservative Party on Friday, this plan would benefit people “right across our country”. But Ms Ridge quickly pointed out that the Tories have also committed to this net zero future, instead aiming to have achieved this goal by 2035. Ms Ridge questioned how radical Mr Miliband’s act actually was when “it is just five years earlier” than the Conservatives.

    Speaking about the pledge to have net zero electricity by 2030, Mr Miliband said: “This is the kind of radical action we need and, crucially, this is a contrast with last Friday.

    “It is about building an economy that works for the many, right across our country, not about building an economy that is for a few at the top of our society.”

    Ms Ridge said: “You say it is radical but at the same time, the Government has also committed to net zero electricity by 2035. It is just five years earlier, right?”

    Mr Miliband then stuttered over his answer, before he said: “Well, just five years, I mean five years is a long time. We are in a decisive moment.

    Ms Ridge said: “Ok, well how much will it cost to do it five years earlier then?”

    Mr Miliband said: “Well, here is the thing. The vast majority of this will come not from the taxpayer but will come from private investment.”

    “You see, private investors are lining up to go for wind energy and solar energy but they cannot because the Government blocks them on onshore wind, blocks them on solar, and doesn’t make the investments we need.”

    Demanding an answer to her original question, Ms Ridge said: “So, what will the cost be? Just explain it to me.”

    Mr Miliband said: “We have made a pledge of £28billion each and every year, a green plan property pledge, and we think it will cost around £2billion a year to make this happen.

    “So, it is a small proportion of that pledge and it is the right thing to do for the country.”

    Green energy will be a major focus for the Labour Party during their conference, beginning on Sunday, with Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer expected to make his keynote speech on Tuesday.

    He has said he wants to turn the UK into a clean energy “superpower” as the energy crisis continues to cause costs to spiral out of control.

    Ahead of the conference, he claimed Labour’s energy plans would “save the British people £93billion” and undermine Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ability to blackmail the UK through control of vital energy resources to Europe.

    Sir Keir said: “Our plan for clean power by 2030 will save the British people £93bn off their energy bills and break the UK’s vulnerability to Putin and his cronies. It will also support our drive for higher growth and rising living standards.”

    While the UK is not reliant on Russian energy supplies directly, the impact of rising costs in Europe still appreciates the bills of UK homeowners.

    Labour are looking to work with businesses in the private sector, as well as the public sector, to more than quadruple offshore wind power, to triple solar power and double onshore wind by 2030 to offset this issue.

    They are also backing the use of nuclear, hydrogen, and tidal power to further ween Britain of unsustainable fossil fuels.

    They claim their plan would “re-industrialise” the UK by creating more than 200,000 direct jobs and up to 260,000 to 300,000 indirect jobs.

  • 1 час, 13 минут назад 25.09.2022Politics
    ‘We should not be on a recess’ Ian Blackford issues warning to Truss over economic crisis

    Ian Blackford confirmed he had written to the Prime Minister in wake of Friday’s mini-budget announcement, urging her to recall Parliament. MPs are set to vacate the House of Commons for three weeks as the parties engage in a schedule of conferences and campaign drives across the country. The SNP Westminster Leader argued conference season should be postponed following the introduction of the Conservative’s plan for economic growth. Mr Blackford claimed the Chancellor’s package was “simply wrong” and had placed the UK in a “perilous situation” that required parliamentary discussion.

    Speaking from the Isle of Skye within his own constituency, Mr Blackford said: “There is a real risk that any recession now is going to be longer and deeper than it needed to be and that is a consequence of the Government’s actions.

    “I have written to the Prime Minister overnight and suggested that we need to make sure that Parliament meets, that Parliament is recalled because we need to discuss this economic crisis.

    “We simply should not be on the conference recess over the course of the next couple of weeks.

    “There is a real economic crisis. Parliament needs to make sure that they are holding the Prime Minister and Chancellor to account.”

    The Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng announced a string of new fiscal measures on Friday, just before Parliament broke for recess, leaving very little time for MPs to discuss the economic developments in Westminster.

    Despite his demands for a Parliamentary recall, Mr Blackford revealed his own party’s conference schedule would still go ahead as planned.

    “It simply isn’t good enough for parliamentarians to be away at party political conferences.

    “These conferences have to take place, I acknowledge that – my own party’s conference will take place.

    “But, our obligation is to be in Parliament and holding this Prime Minister and this Chancellor to account.”

    The SNP conference will take place in Aberdeen, while Labour and the Conservatives will travel to Liverpool and Birmingham respectively.

    The conference recess began on Friday, with MPs to remain absent from the house until the 11th of October.

    MPs returned to the house at the beginning of September, following a period of extended recess over the summer, but regular proceedings were disrupted by the official ten day mourning period for the Queen.

    As a result, by mid-October, the Government under Liz Truss will have only sat in Parliament on a smattering of days despite being in power for well over a month.

    Before the conference recess, Kwasi Kwarteng unveiled the largest plan of tax cuts in 50 years to his colleagues in the House of Commons.

    The new Chancellor has slashed the basic rate of income tax from 20 percent to 19 percent. In addition, he has scrapped the highest tax band for earners of over £150,000, meaning the top paid workers will now only pay a maximum tax rate of 40 percent.

    The ambitious package has been labelled an economic “gamble” by critics of the Tory Government. Mr Blackford called the Chancellor’s plan a “disaster” after the value of the pound plummeted.

    The SNP representative said: “This is economic illiteracy that will do nothing to stem the fall in sterling nor to assist the desire to restrain inflation.”

  • 1 час, 13 минут назад 25.09.2022Politics
    Kuenssberg confronts Starmer with Labour’s lack of support on bills ‘What happens then?’

    The Labour Leader faced fierce questioning from BBC journalist Laura Kuenssberg over his party’s plan to freeze the cost of energy during the winter months. The Conservative Government under Liz Truss has proposed a cap on energy costs set to last two years, offering bill payers a sense of long term security. Ms Kuenssberg confronted Sir Keir Starmer over his own proposal, highlighting the opposition’s planned price freeze would end in April. Airing the thoughts of concerned households across the country, Ms Kuenssburg asked: “What happens then?”

    Speaking in Liverpool, Sir Keir said: “We were very straightforward to say we have got to freeze energy prices.

    “At the time, the Government said they wouldn’t do that, they have now accepted that is the only thing to do. The divide now, the real political question, is who is going to pay for that freeze.”

    Ms Kuenssberg interjected: “No, hang on. There is another question first. You are promising a freeze for six months. The Government is promising a freeze for two years. Will you increase your offer to freeze bills for two years?”

    Sir Keir replied: “Our plan is for six months.”

    The BBC journalist again interrupted to emphasise her line of questioning: “What happens after that?”

    Sir Keir continued: “In April, we have to look at what the situation is, see what the forecasts are then.

    “We need to have a longer term answer to this, but the key issue at the moment is who is going to pay for this freeze, whether it’s six months or two years.”

    Ms Kuenssberg said: “The key issue for many people listening to you this morning, Keir Starmer, might be that the Government has promised they will freeze bills for two years and the Labour Leader has promised he will freeze them for six months and then, after that, we’ll have a look. People need to know now.”

    Under the opposition, the package would be funded by an additional windfall tax on the profits of energy corporations.

    Labour has predicted the average household would save £1,000 after the 80 percent price cap increase scheduled for October was scrapped.

    While Keir Starmer asserted the plan would mean people “wouldn’t pay a penny more” on their winter fuel bills under Labour’s package, the six month plan leaves households uncertain about the security of their energy costs come April.

    Prime Minister Truss has announced the average energy bill will be frozen at £2,500 for the next two years, providing a longer term plan to control energy prices.

    The Government intervention will be funded through an increase to borrowing, adding to substantial national debt.

    The Chancellor reported the plan will cost £60 billion over the next six months, although he added the cost is expected to come down as deals with new energy suppliers are negotiated in the coming months.

    Speaking to Laura Kuenssberg, Kwasi Kwarteng hit back at suggestions the annual cost would amount to £120 billion. He explained: “I think it is likely that the forward curve will be lower, but there is no way that anyone can predict what the cost of that will be.”

  • 1 час, 13 минут назад 25.09.2022Politics
    Sir Keir Starmer’s mask slips as he finally admits he DOES back workers on strike

    Sir Keir Starmer said he backed workers on strike across Britain as he appeared to cave to trade unions threatening to withdraw funding to Labour. Speaking this morning ahead of the party’s annual conference in Liverpool, the Holborn and St Pancras MP sought to heal the rift at the heart of Labour.

    He said he supported “the right of individuals to go on strike” and pledged he would improve workers’ rights if in No10.

    The Labour leader told the BBC: “When people go on strike, it is a last resort at the end of negotiations.

    “I can quite understand how people are driven to that.

    “People are struggling to pay their bills, the negotiations have not succeeded and they’ve taken a decision as a last resort to go on strike.

    “And I support the right of individuals to go on strike, I support the trade unions doing the job they’re doing in representing their members.

    “I want to see the strikes resolved, as do everybody who is on strike.”

    Earlier this year Sir Keir banned his shadow cabinet from appearing on picket lines. He sacked shadow transport minister Sam Tarry after he joined striking rail workers outside Euston station and gave an unauthorised media interview in which he made up policy.

    The actions enraged trade unions, who give the party millions in donations each year, with several of them threatening to stop giving money to Labour.

    Unite, Labour’s biggest financial backer, said in July there was “no point” in giving money to a party which does not support workers.

    She said it was getting “harder and harder to defend” Sir Keir’s stance on strikes and that she would stop giving money unless he gave his support to those taking industrial action.

    Sir Keir said this morning that it was “reasonable” for people to expect wages that take account of the rising cost of living.

    However, he appeared to stand by his decision not to appear on the picket line, saying he was focused on getting Labour into power.

    “My job as leader of the Labour Party is not the same as the job of a trade union.

    “My job is to get the Labour Party from Opposition, where we can just say things but not do things, into power where we can do things,” he said.

    “The single most important thing I can do for everybody who is on strike today and everyone who is struggling to pay their bills is to usher in a Labour Government.

    “Because when we do that we can have day one employment rights for every single person.”

    The Labour leader said the party was now in a position where it could win the next general election and that there had been “real progress”.

    He said he had “taken the Labour Party, picked it up off the canvas, put it back on its feet, changed the party and made it face the public”.

  • Загрузить еще
U.S. inflation falls for 2nd straight month on lower gas costs
Sharply lower prices for gas and cheaper used cars slowed U.S. inflation in August for a second straight month, though…
G-7 announces price cap deal on Russian oil in win for Yellen
Finance ministers from the Group of Seven major economies announced an agreement Friday to impose a cap on the price…

Politics MP's look of disbelief as Jacob Rees-Mogg claims 'Putin funds anti-fracking campaigns'