Government refuses to publish report on fracking

Fracking oil well

The government has refused to abide by a ruling to publish parts of a report on the state of the UK’s fracking industry, Labour has pointed out.

The government was instructed by the information commissioners office (ICO) to release the document by 5pm on November 25th. This followed the failure of the cabinet office to respond to a freedom of information request submitted by Greenpeace in 2018.

The cabinet office had refused on the grounds the information “could call into question the industry’s viability” and was an internal government document exempt from the environmental information regulations.

Labour’s shadow minister for the cabinet office, Jon Trickett, said: “The Tories’ failure to publish this crucial report on fracking shows contempt for democracy and serves as a stark warning for what lies ahead if Boris Johnson is re-elected.

“Whether denying talks to sell-off our NHS or suppressing a report on foreign interference in our politics, this Tory government repeatedly operates in secret and against the public interest.

On how Labour would address these issues, Trickett added: “Labour will ban fracking, expand the freedom of information act and introduce tough new transparency rules so government works for the many, and not the few.”

Labour has explicitly committed to a ban on fracking. The government halted fracking earlier this month but campaign groups are concerned that this is a temporary pause. The Tory manifesto reads: “We will not support fracking unless the science shows categorically that it can be done safely.”

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