Tessa Munt stands firm on anti-fracking views

PUBLISHED: 09:00 03 February 2015

Tessa Munt handed in an anti-fracking petition with more than 8,000 signatures on Monday.

Tessa Munt handed in an anti-fracking petition with more than 8,000 signatures on Monday.

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SOMERSET MP Tessa Munt has resigned from her position as parliamentary aide to business secretary Vince Cable after opposing the Government on fracking.

The Liberal Democrat MP voted against an infrastructure bill which includes changes to trespass laws which will allow fracking companies to drill under people’s homes without their permission.

Ms Munt said her resignation came ‘with regret’ but she is ‘unwilling to compromise’ her views on fracking.

On Monday the Wells MP visited Downing Street to hand in an anti-fracking petition with a total of 8,688 signatures on it.

She also rebelled by voting for a freeze on fracking and failing to support the Government in other votes.

Her role as parliamentary private secretary to Mr Cable was the first step on the ministerial ladder and therefore bound by collective responsibility, which means if a member of the Government feels they cannot support its policy, they must resign.

Ms Munt said: “It is with regret that I handed in my resignation after three enjoyable years working closely alongside Vince Cable.

“I understood the implications of voting against the Government, but with my principles, in favour of a moratorium or freeze on fracking.”

The infrastructure bill passed through Government with the backing of both major parties, but Ms Munt has said she will continue to ‘defend’ the region from the drilling.

She said: “I am unwilling to compromise and cannot change my opposition to fracking. I will continue to campaign vocally against fracking and as result it is clear that my views cannot be reconciled with the Government on this matter.

“I will continue to defend and represent this beautiful part of Somerset, its residents, and businesses.”

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