Former North East Derbyshire MP steps down from advisory fracking role

The government's top fracking advisor, former North East Derbyshire MP Natascha Engel has quit her post after just six months.

She has claimed government policy on shale gas extraction is being guided by fearmongering, not science.

Her appointment caused controversy in her former constituency, with local anti-fracking groups raising concern about her appointment due to her previous links with INEOS, who have applied to carry out exploratory drilling on land at Marsh Lane, near Eckington.

Speaking to Peak FM today, Ms. Engel said: "Unless government makes a decision to review those levels at which work has to stop with the fracking industry, and actually looks at making it the same as every other industry, then that is going to be very difficult for fracking to carry on and develop from where it is at the moment.

"People desperately want jobs and want good jobs and these could be the good jobs we could be bringing them and the government is not listening to these people. Instead they're listening to a very powerful environmental lobby. I think that's a real shame."

Chair of Eckington Against Fracking, David Kesteven told Peak FM he has no sympathy for Ms. Engel: "She didn't keep minutes of the meetings she held with INEOS and Cuadrilla on 15th and 17th January this year. She was incompetent, she never met the people that she was supposed to be reaching out to in communities, she never came to see us.

"Now she's left because we won't make it easier for fracking firms to have earthquakes. That's basically the bottom line.

"Earthquakes are a real concern. We don't need this fracked gas and the science tells us that. And the science says we need to cut back on fossil fuels. She just got on the wrong side of this debate and she's lost."

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