Both Milton Keynes MPs obey Tory whips and vote against move to ban fracking

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Iain Stewart and Ben Everitt both toe the party line

City MPs Iain Stewart and Ben Everitt both toed the party line yesterday (Wednesday) to vote against a move to stop the ban on fracking being lifting in England.

They were among 322 Tory MPs who voted to defeat Labour’s motion. More than 30 of their Conservative colleagues abstained

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The motion would have forced a vote on a bill to ban fracking and it caused chaotic scenes in the House of Commons, with Conservative MPs allegedly bullied and manhandled.

Iain Stewart (left) and Ben EverittIain Stewart (left) and Ben Everitt
Iain Stewart (left) and Ben Everitt

It was intended to block Liz Truss’ plans to lift the ban on hydraulic fracturing, the process of extracting oil and natural gas from shale rock. The practice is controversial and banned across many countries in Europe after being linked to water pollution and climate change.

Fracking is also banned in Scotland, where Iain Stewart served as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State until last month.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has since said there will be no fracking in Scotland,

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

This week in the UK, the Tory MPs were initially told the motion was being treated as a confidence vote in Liz Truss and that they faced losing the party whip if they did not vote with the government. This would see them kicked out of the Conservative parliamentary party and forced to sit as independents.

But this was thrown into confusion just before voting began, when energy minister Graham Stuart declared it was not a confidence vote after all.

In total 33 Tory MPs abstained from the vote – senior figures including Alok Sharma, Ben Wallace, Boris Johnson (who is reportedly on holiday in the Caribbean), David Davis, Kwasi Kwarteng, Nadine Dorries, Priti Patel and Theresa May were all recorded as having not voted.

In 2015 Iain Stewart, who serves MK South, had voted against explicitly requiring an environmental permit for hydraulic fracturing activities. On two other occassions in the past he has voted for greater restrictions to be imposed for fracking.

Mk North MP Ben Everitt, who is newer to parliament, has no previous record of voting on fracking.

Labour’s motion was defeated 326-230.