Points of Order

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:43 pm on 5 November 2019.

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Photo of Gordon Marsden Gordon Marsden Shadow Minister (Education) 1:43, 5 November 2019

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. It is a great pleasure to see you in the Chair. My point of order, which I gave notice of to the Speaker’s Office, relates to the written statement on shale gas that the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy put out yesterday. It said a lot about the past but very little about the immediate future. The Government were forced to introduce a so-called moratorium on fracking at the weekend because of the tremors that affected my constituents in Blackpool in August, with the Oil and Gas Authority subsequently saying that they were unacceptable.

However, in a Radio 4 interview and in that statement, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has rather hedged her bets, undermining that promise. The Government have not provided any response to the National Audit Office report that talked about the real problems of decommissioning, which should be taking place at Cuadrilla’s site on Preston New Road as we speak. Madam Deputy Speaker, have you received any information about whether the Government are going to answer those big questions? The Secretary of State is in the Chamber, so she may like to respond now.