Minister’s attendance at shale industry roundtable was not “dropping in” – Labour spokesman

181203 Barry Gardiner

The energy minister, Claire Perry, attended most of a 95-minute meeting with the shale gas industry which she said she had dropped in on, MPs heard this evening.

Ms Perrytold parliament last month that she had been advised she did not need to declare the meeting under the ministerial code because she had dropped in, rather than held the meeting in her office.

But the shadow international trade secretary, Barry Gardiner, said today:

“It would appear that the minister’s involvement in the meeting may not have been as casual as she suggested.”

Raising a point of order with the House of Commons speaker, Mr Gardiner said a freedom of information request had revealed that the meeting lasted 95 minutes.

“The minister was present for at least 70 of the 95.

“This would not, by any reasonable opinion, I contend, constitute dropping in on the meeting.”

Mr Gardiner also said he could find no reference to the difference in disclosure requirements in the ministerial code.

He asked whether the minister had made any request to come to the house to correct the record.

The speaker, John Bercow, replied:

“The short answer is that no request has been made by the minister concerned or by any other minister to make a statement of correction or other statement as far as I am aware on this matter.
“If a minister believes that he or she has erred it is not only open to that minister to correct the record, it is incumbent on him or her to do so. I have received no such indication. “

News of the roundtable first came to light in July, when the minister told a debate:

“I did hold a very effective shale industry roundtable”

180820 FOI on Claire Perry meeting

Initial response to FOI request by Richard Bales about the round-table shale gas meeting

DrillOrDrop reported on the meeting in August when officials at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) released heavily-redacted meeting notes in response to a freedom of information request.

Following an internal review of the FOI request, the Department released more of the notes in October.

They revealed that the government would regard several shale gas well in production as a success for the industry. The meeting was also told that ministers intended to streamline regulation for shale gas and create a “UK model” for shale gas extraction that could be exported around the world.

Some material remained redacted. BEIS said this was because it referred to policy “that is intended for later publication”. This was thought to be about proposed planning changes for shale gas, which had not been formally consulted on.

114 replies »

  1. She said she held the roundtable. That is not ‘dropping in’.
    She gave a presentation. That is not ‘dropping in’.
    The only ‘dropping’ is yet another gaffe from this arrogant lame-duck minister.

  2. Ms Perry stated she’d had a good round table meeting with the industry, not a meeting she just briefly happened to drop into. No one is above the law or parliamentary procedure that operate for the purpose of transparency, including Claire Perry. Well done Mr Gardiner.

  3. Today Qatar announced they are to break with OPEC and concentrate on gas. With the current infrastructure to buy in this LNG and sell at a profit to Europe, I wonder which the UK governance will favour, shale or profit?

    Carbon is attributed to source, LNG middle man and imports will not count as part of our carbon budget, whilst turning a pretty penny in taxes.

    Shale, if it ever gets out of the ground, which seems increasing unlikely without shaking the hell out of the neighbours and beyond, will contribute to our carbon budget.

    So here is the conundrum ladies and lads; which do you think the cons will support?
    p.s. answer already in latest government paper on energy security.

    • Huge CO2 emissions from importing LNG from Qatar or virtually no CO2 emissions using CCS producing our own?

      What would you choose Sher?

      Support Qatar or support U.K

      Pin your colours on one, I dare you…

      Stoning is a legal punishment in Qatar, although it has never been used.[15] Apostasy is a crime punishable by the death penalty in Qatar.[16] Blasphemy is punishable by up to seven years in prison and proselytizing any religion other than Islam can be punished by up to 10 years in prison.[16] Homosexuality is a crime punishable in sharia by the death penalty for Muslims, though in Qatar the penalty for consenting males is up to 5 years in prison


      • Mods is it possible to remove the massively off topic posts of the likes posted by Kishney at 10:05, 11:46 and 11:51. The information therein regardless of its veracity is in no way related to the original piece and clearly seeks to stifle discussion on the original topic.

        If the original piece related to utility prices, or human rights records of our Middle East trading partners there might be some relevance but not on this occasion and it clearly an attempt to stymie discussion on Ms Perry misleading the House, whether deliberate or not.

        • Whoops my mistake Sher changed the subject so apologies to Kishney for going off half cocked.

          The point still stands though.

      • Seeing as you have brought this up I did wonder if it was just the LNG trade with Qatar you object to Kish?

        Or are you wanting the UK to cease trading with a country it currently has a trade surplus with and is looking to strengthen ties with the country post Brexshit.

        It seems to me the human rights issue is a a convenient argument for the pro fracktavists to cling to when discussing LNG imports but completely swerves the fact we as a country have massive trade in goods and services with Qatar as well as huge Qatari investment in the U.K. together with other strategic, military and security links which we are seeking to strengthen going forward.

        I do not in anyway seek to downplay the issue of the Qatari human rights records but they are not alone in having a poor record amongst our international trading partners all of whom we quite happily trade with regardless ( see Treesa the appeasers weak reprimand of MbS over the Khashoggi affair and the Yemen war at the G20)




      • So Kisheny what are you saying – you don’t think we should buy oil from Saudi Arabia or sell them our warplanes? I mean that stance would be consistent with your logic there now wouldn’t it? Have I understood you correctly?

        There would be no CO2 emissions using pink unicorns producing our own either.

        • U.K. balance of trade is going to take a bit of a hit if Kishngets his way. No trade with Qatar, Saudi and we may as well add Russia into that equation.

          Do me a favour Kish calculate the impact to the economy if we remove those three “oppressive regimes” from our trading partners. I thought Brexit was a stupid idea for U.K. business but your argument takes the biscuit and all to make a very weak case for UK shale.

          • Crembule. You are contradictory in your argument. You advocate for 100% renewables push to free us from fossil fuel needs which also means no need for import from these regimes and therefore the same implications as shale replace fuel imports per trades with these countries.

        • 100% reflection…

          No oil from Saudi NO arms to the middle East. Produce U.K Gas, CCGT with carbon capture convert as fast as possible to electric vehicles and CNG trucks. Bringing down CO2.

          Dare to dream…

          • Lovely dream Kishy, and one I would go with. I notice you say UK gas and not shale, there’s a start; well done.

            A Christmas Carol (abridged)
            The ghost of Christmas past- huge choking industrialized powerplants puking out lethal concoctions….effects not realised.
            The ghost of Christmas present – huge choking industrialized powerplants puking out lethal concoctions….effects realised and ignored
            The ghost of Christmas future – if we do not change our ways; death
            – if we turn and realise what we have become; life

            Generating your own renewable energy brings freedom from economic slavery and releases those who are oppressed for their oil and gas resources. Generate your own, use only what you need; no more oil conflicts. Action, not words.

          • Never mind fitted kitchens for all, Kush is advocating EVs for all.

            And no jobs in manufacturing by the look of things.

    • LNG twice the price of piped Gas…

      LNG needs liquifying then transportation and regasification from the middle East…

      Or Natural Gas straight out of the ground a couple of hundred metres from the Gas grid…

      Economics will prevail, look at Trump promising a resurgence in the coal industry stateside, no chance…

  4. Congratulations to the pro brigade who have succeeded in moving the ‘debate’ from Claire Perry’s dishonesty to Qatari human rights record and the economics of LNG.

    This still doesn’t alter the facts that:

    Claire Perry has again been shown to have a scant nodding acquaintanceship with the truth.

    The government – and particularly the BEIS – are more rabidly pro-fracking and less willing to hear any scientific proof or reasoning
    than GBK, Peeny, Kisheny or any of the other industry-funded mouthpieces who attempt to drown out reason.

    The Tory party is determined to get what it wants by whatever means possible regardless of what anyone else says or does.

    To be a minister in today’s Conservative government it is essential that you have the morality of Donald Trump, the honesty of Tony
    Blair, the democratic tendencies of Kim Jong Un [edited by moderator]
    If you can also display a total disrespect for any rule, law or parliamentary protocol which may dissuade you from your course, you’re
    ideally qualified to become a minister.

    And the most important fact of all,

    We will continue to resist fracking – regardless of anything the government may say or do – until it is banished from our shores.

  5. So Kisheny; you cannot have it both ways.

    The point of my post was about political decisions not about my personal view on carbon emissions. The governance will only go with the fastest race horse. Shale is the donkey coming last, may not even cross the line at this rate?

    LNG will be the future of any gas used in the UK after the North Sea, not shale.

    Apologies for those who think this is off topic, but ultimately this will be the conversation in the house in the very near future. As crembule has pointed out, the deal is already done with BAE getting billions for their planes, and the country, in return gets cheap LNG.

    Now, it is a common thread by the shale supporters, particularly Kishy, centered around those who cannot afford fuel to heat their homes; in this instance, this need will be met.

    Shale is just the bad joke in a Christmas cracker; Merry Christmas, one and all!

    What did Santa say to the fracker? Please don’t frack, it’s bad for my elf!

          • I don’t need any gas Kishy…it’s about you and yours.
            The country has gas from the North Sea; stop wasting it.

            • It’s a product made using GAS that you’re communicating with me now dumb dumb…

              Plastic product producing the electricity you’re using right now, give it up Sher you’re not fooling anybody…

            • Dear me Kishy; here’s the big miss for you……create a solar panel using gas [better with renewable energy] and you create a product that converts the sun into energy for around 25 years before it is recycled and then, using a little more gas – if you must- we are back for another 25 years. Burn the gas direct for energy and puff, it’s gone forever….who’s the dumb dumb now?

              p.s not sure where you get that I have solar my not so informed Kishy; this post comes to you from a product powered by wind; action not words Kishy, action not words……

            • It’s sad Refracktion; he pretends to know about wind power but forgets the obvious…..
              So, clearly I have hit another Kishy nerve? Keep up cos……

  6. So, there is non story about CP, other than BG preaching so he can be edited and placed on the Internet to excite a few. (I watched his POO-it was a nasty, pathetic attempt.)

    And then we have an attempt to promote we should send loads of dosh to those poor souls in Qatar (who are under scrutiny also for funding terrorism) , increasing environmental damage, when we could keep that dosh in UK to help with such items as energy poverty (anyone been observing Paris???) and reduce environmental damage at the same time. Loads of collateral damage plus overseas aid to those who do not need it seems acceptable to a minority to fulfill their agenda. Maybe wiser to keep quiet about that. Will only resonate with a small minority.

    • So Martin, as you appear to have a conscience about the people of Qatar, what are you going to do to help them? Perhaps you have
      a ‘friend’ who can tell us first hand how we should go about this?

      Whilst you are at it, perhaps you may need to redefine terrorism and include the selling of weapons to regimes that kill children?

      Then after that, you may need to look to home and the 25% of Preston’s children who are in poverty?

      Not an attempt to promote, but actually what is happening, Martin; though according to you we could shut down BAE and then all those employees can join and help you save the world?

      Paris is a taste of things to come; is about austerity, not about climate taxes. Hold that picture in your head, because in less than 12 years our streets could look the same.

      The only way to reduce environmental damage is to dump the fossils and go with clean energy and reduce consumption. Stop wasting gas. But that would require political will, which is sadly lacking from the blues.

      Perhaps you should take off your blinkers?

      ‘A man walks into a bar ….ouch’ – Merry Christmas Martin…

      • Really? So what is the proposed reaction by the French Government? DOH. The only amusing bit is the inability of some to actually concentrate on reality.

        Trade is about selling something to someone that meets their needs. Barter is something else altogether. We buy gas from Russia, we do not sell them arms. It would be quite possible to do the same in reverse with Qatar.

        Why do Qatar need my help? They do get it however, via my consumption of their gas. I would rather give that help to those in Blackpool, or elsewhere, who are less well off than most in Qatar. You, Sherwulfe, simply want to prevent that.

        • There will be more needy who require your most gracious help if BAe were to shut down as a result of Kish’s trade policy.

          Wee suggestion for you and Kishney why don’t you “drop in” at a “round table” event at the Pickwick on a Friday afternoon and let the BAe lads know your plans for their jobs, you can tell them not to worry as gas will cost the same but at least it will be U.K. gas rather than from an oppressive regime. OFC they won’t be able to buy it because they will be jobless but at least you and Kish will be able to warm them from the inner glow of your virtue signaling.

          • Crem you have really backed yourself in a corner…

            Your viewpoint is to sell arms to brutal oppressive regimes to keep some British workers in JOBS!!!!!!!

            crem, I take it from your viewpoint you are in some way associated with BAE as you know the pubs the workers drink in… Brilliant.

            • Nope Kish I am just advocating trade and jobs and as previously outlined we also sell other goods to Qatar including farm machinery and medical equipment and supplies , do you advocate stoping selling those to oppressive regimes also?

              I would suggest it is you that is backed into the corner (as you would be at the Pickwick) as your push for UK shale seems to be made on the basis that jobs in numerous industries except O&G are expendable. You don’t give a sh!t about the Fylde despite reoeatedly playing the local card, which I still suggest is in doubt.

              For the record I don’t work for aerospace but know lots of people that do, as you would if you were actually local. Do remember to wish you friends at BAe a Happy Christmas and tell them you think the site should be shut down because it opposes your beliefs. 🔧

            • Someone better tell Dr Fox his job title has changed to Secretary of State for International Trade and Barter, doesn’t seem to roll of the tongue as easily though.

    • How is a story about a minister being alleged (with plenty of evidence it seems) to have misled the House about her meeting with the shale gas industry a non story Marton?

      It might even have a sequel.

      • Exactly alleged…

        Did you notice when I hung Beijing Barry’s dirty washing out I never said the word alleged once???

        • You say alleged but we have seen the copy of the agenda etc provided by Freedom of Information. Are you insinuating that this information is false?

      • Have you ever worked in a real job, reaction?

        I have run loads of meetings where colleagues dropped in. Often for much of the meeting, often made a presentation. Sometimes, if I thought they couldn’t offer much, I told them to clear off, other times I accepted their input. Sometimes, it was because another meeting had closed early so they had time to make mine that they originally couldn’t fit in. All quite standard-a non story, based upon allegations and speculation.

        What is her job? Is meeting with the shale gas industry outside of her remit?

        Get real. Oh, sorry. Reality is a taboo.

        This was a POO that looked like, sounded like, and was, the equivalent of the snitch in class asking teacher to tell off someone so they could score points. Didn’t receive much support in the “class” last night either.

        • If that’s what passes for acceptable meeting etiquette in your by gone world Martin I would suggest it is just as well you have hung up your boots, completely unprofessional.

          Turning to Ms Perry she has been caught in flagrante cosying up to O&G in off the books meetings that clearly should have been logged in the register. The Point of Order was raised by BG so that all can be fully aware the Ms Perry has misled house whether deliberately or not and to provide her with the opportunity to correct that error. Failure to do so now it has been raised would clearly reflect on her trustworthyness.

        • No Murtin I’ve obviously never had a real job 🙄

          Now when I go to business meetings they can be formal or informal, with government ministers or with clerical officers, but one thing I have never done is to mislead parliament about whether I’ve attended them or to make up non-existent parts of codes that apparently let me of the hook for keeping quiet about them.

          Your anecdotes about your own amazingly important business life are as fascinating as the rest of your collywibble, and not really relevant to the point being discussed.

          I’m sure Ms Perry will be able to explain it all though.

          • “Alleged”-is that no longer important to the point being discussed?

            Goodness, you really must be a joy at meetings if you think that sort of editing would be ignored.

            “Meeting etiquette” crembrule?? Another little wander into Wonderland. There is no such thing, other than set and accepted within an individual company. Sounds to me like someone has operated within the public sector!

            • You are right I am in the public sector now but come from a professional background and if I ever just wandered into a meeting during either iterations of my career either as a client or as a consultant I would expect to be admonished accordingly!

              Not sure which world stands for meeting participants just rocking up midway through if they weren’t expected or invited but then I don’t live in Collyerwibble world I am in the real one.

            • But that was not the point being made, crembrule. The point was someone sets up a meeting and then someone else may join it at some time. Not rocking up, or gate crashing. Maybe you have not been in meetings where that happens. I have and only where it is done politely and is agreed. Why not, if the newcomer can add something? Strange world you have inhabited to find that unusual or impolite. What about when someone has a previous commitment that is then cancelled? They are excluded from another meeting that is of interest to them? LOL

            • Oh Martin – you don’t just join a meeting “at some time” as a “newcomer” when you are on the agenda as giving a “Presentation on the Shale Gas Opportunity” which lasts for a quarter of the time allotted for the entire meeting and then also make the “Closing remarks”. How stupid do you think people must be? 😂

            • Not as stupid as you think they are, reaction.

              I have seen very similar to what you indicate. The CEO enters the meeting politely after a while, he is asked to make a contribution and at the end summarises as he is the ultimate decision maker for the subject in question. The minutes then reflect all of that.

            • Hilarious – your problem here Matins is that it was an agenda and not minutes – in other words it was clearly planned and not the coincidental popping in you are trying to portray. You are making yourself look a little silly now so you may wish to put your spade back in the shed.

  7. Those people who get over-exercised about LNG shipment from Qatar should come clean and recognise that not only does it represent a tiny portion of gas consumed in the UK but that a significant proportion of it turns up only for trans-shipment.

    • Philip P – I agree that loads of it goes straight overseas but it doesn’t stop the antis using those figures to try and say that the UK is an exporter of gas and therefore doesn’t need to produce our own

        • UK is a net importer of gas – hopefully your maths is better than JPs?

          We consume more than we produce. We import more than we export.

            • Your logic is lost on me. If we stop importing we don’t export and we have a large shortfall in UK. We export Norwegian gas to Europe….

            • oops – that was supposed to appear as a response to “You and Refracktion seem to have a problem admitting the fact that we consume more gas than we produce in the UK? Is this some kind of anti psychological block? Very simple to understand. Why all the obfuscation?”

            • Not relevant. Your logic is also lost on me? So let’s stop importing LNG. We export Norwegian gas to Europe – not LNG from Norway.

              You and Refracktion seem to have a problem admitting the fact that we consume more gas than we produce in the UK? Is this some kind of anti psychological block? Very simple to understand. Why all the obfuscation?

        • Please reflection you’re better than that…

          Of course we import huge amounts of Gas…

          If you want me to embarrass you, say it again…

          • Of course we import as well as export Kisheny.

            I was correcting Green Judith’s little problem with understanding causation there.

            The only person you are embarrassing here is yourself.

      • Cembrule – so now you are criticising Cuadrilla for being slow while at the same time patting everyone on the back who slows them down – totally nauseating hypocrisy

        • But Judith, I’m sure I remember Cuadrilla telling us that protest hasn’t slowed them down at all? You seem to be saying they were not being quite straight with us again and that you agree that protest does indeed slow them down.

          Lord knows what it is that is slowing them down at the moment though, but it must be serious for them not to have fracked for 33 days after all of that hullabaloo when they started (and stopped and started again)

          • Yes here we go Green Judith – it was Mark Lappin, who reportedly said that the company had “not lost one minute of operational time” and that protests at Preston New Road were the equivalent of bad weather in the North Sea. It is nice to see that you recognise the reality though.

            • Well it has taken them ever such a long time to restore the sites at Becconsal and Grange Hill Mertin.

              I’m sure you are right though and doing that is far more important to them and their investors than doing any fracking or flow testing.

              Remind me, what line of business were you in? Was it story telling by any chance?

      • Public sector worker crem………..

        Excellent, you will be in the pension scheme then in the local area, good for you!

        Are you happy in the knowledge that Lancashire County Council has £186,958,925.94 invested in foreign Fracking operations and a total of £339,925,319.89 invested in fossil fuels….

        Look forward to your retirement safe in the knowledge part of it every month has been funded by Fracking. By the way you got so irate about BAE it sounds like your significant other works there. So I am sure you’ll have plenty to talk about in the Birley conservatory having a nice meal together…

          • Refracktion, God knows who he is stalking though cos it ain’t me if he is peering in the windows of the Birley! 😂

        • Not all public sector worked are on LGPS so try again Kish.

          My significant other doesn’t work at Warton or for BAe, what ever gave you that idea? Ah yes you made an unfounded assumption, but that is your standard MO.

          For the record I didn’t get in the slightest bit irate but I do appreciate the BAe represents a major employer on the Fylde, much more so than Caudrilla ever will. You however seem happy for that particular industry and the multiplayer thousand jobs it provides to be sacrificed to salve your anti Qatari pro U.K. shale stance.

          • Nice dodge crem but you didn’t say you wasn’t on the pension scheme. Are you or not???

            Interesting to know you put jobs before ethics…

            • Nope

              And Kish you can tell those 6000 BAe workers you would like to be out of work to feed and warm their their kids with ethics.

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