Saturday 2 November 2019 3:11 pm

Jeremy Corbyn brands the government's fracking ban as an 'election stunt'

Jeremy Corbyn has labelled the halt to fracking as “an election stunt” by the government.

The suspension came following scientific research raised fresh concerns that the risk of earthquakes was linked to fracking – a controversial method for extracting shale gas.

Read more: Government bans fracking with immediate effect

Corbyn has called the U-turn by the Conservative Party an effort to “win a few votes”.

The leader of the opposition said the Prime Minister could not be trusted over fracking and that Boris Johnson once called fracking “glorious news for humanity”.

On Twitter, he wrote: “The Conservatives’ temporary pause of fracking is an election stunt to try and win a few votes.

“Boris Johnson described fracking as ‘glorious news for humanity’. We cannot trust him.

“Labour would ban fracking. That’s real change.”

The report by the Oil and Gas Authority found it is not possible to accurately predict the strength of earthquakes connected to fracking operations.

The method for extracting shale gas has caused seen protests across the country including in Lancashire and Yorkshire following tremors believed to be caused by the fracking process.

It was likely to be a prominent feature of the general election campaign.

Business secretary Andrea Leadsom said the ban was only in place “until the science changes”.

Former energy secretary and Liberal Democrat Sir Ed Davey has also demanded an “immediate ban now” on fracking.

He said: “This belated, eve of election policy pause won’t distract voters from the Tories’ shocking record on the environment – not least the prime minister’s, when he lobbied to relax air pollution laws.”

Read more: Sajid Javid launches zero carbon review as government bans fracking

Prime Minister Johnson had previously argued energy companies “should leave no stone unturned, or unfracked” as he dismissed opposition to the methods as “ludicrous” and “mad denunciations”.

He has since said he has “very considerable anxieties” about fracking.