A junior member of the coalition is preparing to resign from the government, if fracking proposals go ahead unchanged this evening.
Lib Dem MP Tessa Munt is a parliamentary private secretary to business secretary Vince Cable. The unpaid role is the first rung on the ministerial ladder and bound by the principle of collective responsibility, whereby if a member of the government cannot support its policy they must resign.
Earlier, Munt tweeted a picture of her delivering a petition against fracking to Downing Street, which is hosted on her official website.
Her office said that “she hasn’t been asked to vote yet” and is “still hoping to challenge policy”, but repeatedly declined attempts to deny Munt would resign were this attempt to fail, saying they would deal with that if it happens.
She may currently be focusing on changing policy but Munt, a long term opponent of fracking, will have to resign her government role this evening unless she votes with the government, and is getting ready to do so. The move may boost her re-election chances in the marginal constituency of Wells.