Labour MP Bill Esterson slams Tory-led Government as George Osborne's father calls for fracking to take place in northern areas like Formby and Crosby

Bill Esterson

Sefton Central's Labour MP Bill Esterson has accused the Tory-Lib Dem government of "not knowing what they are doing" and of "taking a huge risk with the safety of people" in Lydiate, Maghull and Formby after the latest extraordinary call from a government peer and energy adviser, to push ahead with fracking in Labour areas.

The peer, Lord Howell, who is also the father in law of Tory chancellor, George Osborne and a former government energy adviser, said that fracking should not take place in southern Tory voting areas, only in Labour areas in the North.

His comments were published in The Times newspaper on May 14.

This follows news that fracking is due to start between Lydiate and Formby and that the government has no plans to intervene.

Labour's Bill Esterson said: "I live in Maghull and I want to be sure that my wife and children are safe from any risks.

"We know that both Lib Dem and Tory ministers support fracking. But it seems that the government wants to go further and take huge risks with the safety of people in Lydiate, Maghull, Aintree, Melling, Hightown, Formby, Crosby and Ince Blundell.

"A member of the government says fracking should happen in the North not in the South. That means right here in Sefton Central. Lord Howell is also George Osborne's father in law.

"To hear such callous disregard for safety is bad enough but when it comes from someone so close to the heart of government is nothing short of a scandal.

"The Lib Dem energy minister, Ed Davey has not objected to these comments either and we know the Lib Dems want to see fracking, which again means right here in Sefton Central.

"We need a proper, scientific analysis of the risks of fracking and we need local people to have their say before test drilling even starts. The government is denying people in Formby, Crosby and Hightown this essential assurance.

"The government really do not know what they are doing when it comes to fracking and these comments show a complete lack of competence and a total disregard for people in our area.

"I shall continue to fight for my constituents and urge people to take a close look at what the government is planning to do in and around Sefton about fracking."