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Tory peer confused east and west in controversial fracking remarks

Lord Howell says he mixed up the North East of England with the ‘unloved’ North West

The former energy minister, who is also George Osborne’s father-in-law, previously caused a stir in the House of Lords when he suggested fracking should take place in the “desolate” North East.

He has since apologised and referred to his comments as a “stupid error”. He did however, add that fracking should be carried out on the other side of the nation and that he would like to see “more the drilling going on off the Lancashire coast”.

Fracking should take place in ‘unloved places’

Speaking to The Telegraph, Lord Howell said: “The general story is right – that we want the derricks for fracking to be far away from residences in unloved places that are not environmentally sensitive.

“I don’t want to see gas fracking subsidised like wind farms are. A lot more care must be taken than has been the case with wind farms, which have caused terrible desecration.

“It’s odd that they’ve decided to do this in sensitive places down in Sussex.”

‘When you’re in a hole, stop fracking’

Nick Clegg today became the latest public figure to criticise Lord Howell for his comments.

The Deputy Prime Minister said: “It’s not just the north-east [he has affronted] – he’s now saying he meant the north-west. I have a piece of advice for him – when you’re in a hole, stop fracking.”

The debate surrounding the extraction of shale gas has recently intensified with protesters joining forces to stop gas company Cuadrilla Resources from carrying out exploratory drilling in Sussex.

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