Updated: Chaos at fracking vote

An investigation is underway into allegations of bullying and manhandling of Conservative MPs in parliament this evening in a chaotic vote on fracking.

Outside the voting lobby at parliament, 19 October 2022
Photo: Chris Bryant MP

Labour’s Ian Murray tweeted that Conservative whips were screaming at fellow members of their party.

Labour’s Chris Bryant told the House of Commons:

“I saw members being physically manhandled into another lobby. and being bullied. If we want to stand up against bullying in this House against our staff, we have to stop bullying in this chamber as well.”

He urged the deputy speaker to begin an investigation and posted a photo of scenes outside the division lobby.

David Linden, the SNP MP for Glasgow East, said on Twitter:

“Just watched the Deputy Prime Minister practically pick up a hesitant Tory MP and march him into the Government lobby. Astonishing.”

Earlier, Conservative whips had told MPs that the vote on Labour’s call for a ban on fracking would be a vote of no confidence in the government. But just before the vote, the climate minister, Graham Stuart, suggested that the government had changed its mind.

This left Conservative MPs confused and angry.

Earlier in the debate, Ruth Edwards, Conservative MP for Rushcliffe, had said members of her own front bench should “hang their heads in shame”. She said MPs had been forced to chose between voting against the party’s 2019 manifesto or lose the whip.

Ruth Edwards MP as it was announced that the fracking vote was not a vote of confidence in the government

There was later confusion about whether the chief whip, Wendy Morton, and her deputy, Craig Whittaker, had resigned. It later turned out that were still in post.

Labour online advert

This evening, Labour began an online advertising campaign targeting MPs who voted against this evening’s motion to ban fracking.

The party’s climate change spokesperson, Ed Miliband, who opened the debate, said tonight:

“the Conservatives have voted against Labour’s fracking ban, against the wishes of their constituents, the British people, and their own manifesto. They have chosen to stand by a failing Prime Minister against the best interests of working people.”

Jamie Peters, fracking campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said:

“The fact that Conservative MPs publicly stated that they would vote with Labour is truly extraordinary. There is clearly significant and mounting opposition to fracking across the political spectrum.

“The Business Secretary’s amendment shows the government is now finally recognising the strength of feeling against fracking and the evident dissatisfaction within its own ranks. It shows just how deeply unpopular it is across Westminster, not to mention with the public – not helped by the fact that the government’s plans are devoid of scientific backing.

“Let this be where the fracking story ends. Instead, we must opt for the real solutions that will increase our energy security, lower bills and cut the harmful emissions that cause climate change – insulating our heat-leaking homes and ramping up the production of cheap, popular and clean renewable energy.”

The Green Party MP, Caroline Lucas, tweeted:

Campaigners in shale gas areas saw local Conservative MPs vote against Labour’s motion, despite opposing fracking.

In south Yorkshire, Matthew Wilkinson, of Woodsetts Against Fracking, responded to the decision by the village’s MP, Alexander Stafford, not to vote for a ban :

“We feel completely betrayed by Alex Stafford’s voting choice. We’ve heard him speak to residents saying he would do all he could to rid Rother Valley of the threat of fracking. And we’ve heard him speak in parliament that fracking is a red herring that will not reduce energy costs. To be frank, we feel betrayed.”

The Conservative political commentator, Iain Dale tweeted this evening:

“This just cannot go on. It is a government unworthy of the name. It has ceased to be. Good riddance to an embarrassment of a Home Secretary, but at 7pm there will be a whole clutch of MPs who will vote against the whip on fracking, therefore forgoing it. A total loss of control.”


A report for the Commons’ speaker, published on 1 November 2022 concluded that “evidence as a whole” did not support allegations of the use of physical contact to compel a member into the No lobby during the vote on Labour’s motion.

56 replies »

  1. MARTIN ,

    DO you know what’s funny ???????

    Your inability your remember what you actually post on here ( our discussion about the year 2020 ) ….It’s either that or you are deliberately” distorting ” what you have previously said on the matter.

    Which one is it MARTIN ???????

    I can’t believe that you would tell porkies , not you MARTIN , an upstanding pillar of the community , nah not you .

    Whilst your here , it would appear this has slipped your mind . You previously had implied that Fracking doesn’t cause earthquakes.



    Texas Fracking has just ” WON ” the prestigious award of earthquake capital of the USA.

    Is this something to celebrate , will you be throwing a party MARTIN ?????? If you are , is JACK invited ???????

    Fracking Boom Turns Texas Into the Earthquake Capital of the USA


    Why do you want to expose the British public to continual earthquakes , don’t you care about the damage that Fracking related earthquakes will cause to peoples homes ???????

    MARTIN , we need your answer .

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