An anti-fracking campaigner on hunger strike opposite Downing Street hopes to put his case to the highest levels of government next week.
Gayzer Frackman, who was on day 11 of his protest in Whitehall today, has permission to deliver information to the prime minister and chancellor. But he is also calling on David Cameron to meet him.
The campaigner from Lytham in Lancashire has set up two director’s chairs on the pavement outside the Ministry of Defence. One has Mr Cameron’s name on it and the other is labelled Great Britain. The chairs are, he says, symbolic.
“I am trying to represent Great Britain. To stop the hunger strike all Mr Cameron has to do is come and speak to me. He is making me sick by not speaking to me, just as he is making my community sick.”
Mr Frackman, who changed his name by deed poll, has been opposing Cuadrilla’s plans to frack at Preston New Road and Roseacre Wood in the Fylde area of Lancashire. The company was refused planning permission in June but appealed. The government announced last week it would make the final decision.
He said people living nearby were constantly thinking about fracking.
“When you are under pressure you don’t get any sleep. A lot of it is worry. You’re always asking yourself: ‘Have I done enough to stop it?’ After all this effort is the government going to step in and overrule the council?”
Mr Frackman said he was taking the action for three members of the Preston New Road Action Group who were either ill or had sick relatives.
“They should be enjoying life. These people should not be going through this. They are hardworking people. They should not be living in fear.”
Mr Frackman will deliver information to Downing Street at midday on Monday. It will include copies of a report compiled earlier this year by the health campaign group, Medact. This concluded that fracking posed significant risks to people. He will also deliver a duty of care letter which will state the legal obligation on the reader to behave to a standard of reasonable care when responsible for acts that could harm others.
“We have done everything in the past to give him information. This time we’ll address the envelope for Mr Cameron’s eyes only”. Mr Frackman said. “Then he can’t say it was correspondence that he didn’t see.”
“He has to look at the documents. When you put your life on the line it needs to be treated with respect. He needs to read the material. Then he has the information.”
The hunger strike is not the story, he said. “Lancashire is the story. Lancashire is David Cameron’s jewel in the crown. We have so much infrastructure there: gas storage, road widening and the water supply to Preston New Road. Preparation for fracking has been going on for a while.”
During the past week and a half, Mr Frackman gave a leaflet to Andy Murray and had a conversation with the energy secretary, Amber Rudd.
He has been drinking water and taking multi-vitamins and omega 3. He said he’s not had hunger pangs and hasn’t felt weak. But he said people were concerned about him and he was taking those concerns seriously.
He remained determine to continue the fight.
“I am not going to allow fracking.”
When asked if he thought he would be successful, he said:
“Yes. I have never doubted it”.
After Monday he says he would make a decision on the future of the protest, depending on whether the Prime Minister agreed to meet him.
In the meantime, he is encouraging anti-fracking groups around the country to come to Downing Street to deliver their concerns to the Prime Minister.