MP resigns from committee over fracking links

Kevin Hollinrake MP for Thirsk and Malton speaks at the Yorkshire Finance Director Awards at Aspire, Leeds. Picture: Anna Gowthorpe
Kevin Hollinrake MP for Thirsk and Malton speaks at the Yorkshire Finance Director Awards at Aspire, Leeds. Picture: Anna Gowthorpe
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Ryedale’s MP has resigned his position on a government committee after it was discovered it had received funding from fracking companies.

Kevin Hollinrake says he stood down as vice-chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Committee (APPG) on Unconventional Oil and Gas on Thursday, following pressure from his constituents.

It was found the committee was funded by a number of prominent fracking companies

He said: ““A number of constituents have contacted me to express concerns that my involvement with the above is inappropriate, due to the amount of sponsorship it receives from the oil and gas industry.

“Clearly, this would never influence any of us to take a particular view, but nevertheless, I think I should resign as an officer to make sure that my impartiality is not called into question.”

However, opponents of the plans to allow fracking at well in Kirby Misperton that it has raised further concerns about Mr Hollinrake’s plans to set up an independent All Party Parliamentary Group (AAPG).

The new MP is also setting up a meeting at Westminster with some of the shale gas companies but the meeting will not be open to the public.

Chris Redston, of Frack Free Ryedale, said: “He is clearly the last person to set up a new APPG to investigate the regulatory system for fracking, particularly given that he has shown many times in recent weeks that he is strongly in favour of shale gas by chairing Third Energy PR meetings, voting to allow fracking under National Parks and arranging closed Westminster meetings with fracking companies.”

Russell Scott, of Frack Free North Yorkshire, adedd: “This secret meeting... is seen as the first stage in planning a PR offensive designed to foist fracking on an increasingly unwilling local population.”