Liz Truss did not mention fracking in her speech to the Conservative conference in Birmingham. But leading campaigners from Greenpeace heckled over the party’s U-turn on the moratorium on fracking.
Rebecca Newsom, the Greenpeace head of public affairs, and Ami McCarthy, its policy officer, unrolled a banner reading “who voted for this”.
The activists were quickly ejected from the hall after the prime minister said: “let’s get them removed”.
Outside the meeting, Ms Newsom said:
“Who voted for what Liz Truss and her cabinet are trying to roll out across the country. Nobody voted for fracking, nobody voted to trash nature, nobody voted to slash workers rights. There’s a whole host of things that the Conservatives were elected to do in 2019, they are simply not doing. Liz Truss doesn’t have the public mandate to do this”.
Liz Truss’s 35-minute speech did mention the offshore oil and gas industry. But there was no reference to fracking or onshore shale gas.
The issue has prompted anger among Conservative MPs in some shale gas areas, as well as fracking opponents.
Just before the conference, Liz Truss told local radio that fracking must be with local consent.
At a conference fringe meeting, Mr Rees-Mogg appeared to rule out local referendums as a way of gauging consent. He suggested that shale gas companies could canvass door-to-door for support.
This evening, the Politics Home website reported that some Tory MPs suspected that fracking plans could be “quietly shelved”. It said there was
“a growing belief that the government’s plans to boost fracking could be quietly shelved has emerged at Conservative party conference in Birmingham after Tory MPs and activists expressed opposition to the plans”.
Updated to include reporting by Politics Home