Tuesday 18 October 2016 9:07 am

What the frack, Jeremy? Ineos writes huffy letter to Corbyn complaining about Labour policy

The chief executive of fracking firm Ineos Shale has written to Jeremy Corbyn to complain about the Labour leader's plans to ban the industry if he were elected.

He told Corbyn fracking will create 74,000 jobs in the UK and £33bn of investment, and Labour should be backing it.

The chief exec, Gary Haywood, told Today he was "astounded" that the Labour party, which "would be championing workers' rights, wouldn't be interested in this opportunity".

"What you hear from the Green campaigners is that is a systemic issue, that's just not true," he said. 

"We are very confident we can do this safely and with respect to the environment." 

The firm have licences to frack in Cheshire, the East Midlands and Yorkshire and will be submitting planning applications for sites later this year.

Read more: Opinion on fracking linked to political ideology

Labour responded to the call, saying current plans for fracking could not be made compatible with safeguards needed. Haywood asked to sit down with the Labour team for discussions.

"The UK will continue to import gas… if we import it it is 10 per cent less carbon efficient than if we do it at home," he said.

The policy has received an icy reception since it was first announced last month.

Within the last few weeks Sajid Javid, the communities secretary, gave the green light to fracking sites in Lancashire, which were turned down at first by the council.

Read more: More than 64 per cent of Brits reluctant to buy property near fracking sites

The GMB union was critical of Labour's stance on fracking during the party conference this year, saying the decision was "madness" and that the UK could end up "dependent on regimes fronted by henchmen, hangmen and head-choppers for the gas we need."