Labour Party (UK)

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Stance on fracking

In September 2016, shadow energy and climate secretary Barry Gardiner announced that a future Labour government would impose a national ban on fracking. The move was welcomed by green campaigners and local resident groups who are threatened by the industry. [1]

The party's position has previously been inconsistent or unclear. In February 2015, a majority of Labour MPs abstained from a vote on an amendment for a moratorium on fracking, recommended by the Environmental Audit Committee. The amendment was not approved and voted down by 302 votes to 52 against a moratorium.[2] Labour did table a series of other amendments on the conditions that should be met before shale gas exploration can take place, but they were voted down in the House of Lords.[3]

Labour's 2015 general election manifesto showed support for a regulated fracking industry, pledging to 'establish a robust environmental and regulatory regime before extraction can take place. And to safeguard the future of the offshore oil and gas industry, we will provide a long-term strategy for the [fracking] industry, including more certainty on tax rates and making the most of the potential for carbon storage.' [4]

Political communications

The first year of the Gordon Brown's term as Prime Minister coincided with a 16% rise in the cost of government advertising, marketing and publicity. Government advertising attracted particular controversy in 2009, when the Home Office, according to a Select Committee on Communications report, "abused the marketing funds by funding newspapers [sic.] advertisements on police during the local elections “purdah” period, mirroring the Labour Party’s own campaigning."[5]

The report said there had also been an historic trend of COI advertising strangely rising just before an expected general election.[5]

Central Office of Information spending on public relations, marketing and advertising in 2007-8 cost £391 million a year, more than three times the rate that Labour inherited.

COI Spending £

  • 1997–98 £111 million
  • 1998–99 £173 million
  • 1999–00 £200 million
  • 2000–01 £295 million
  • 2001–02 £273 million
  • 2002–03 £267 million
  • 2003–04 £317 million
  • 2004–05 £343 million
  • 2005–06 £322 million
  • 2006–07 £338 million
  • 2007–08 £391 million

Associated organisatons

Partner organisations

Thinks tanks and lobby groups


See: Fracking Spads


  1. Adam Vaughan, Labour government would ban fracking in UK, The Guardian, 26 September 2016, accessed 24 October 2016.
  2. Fracking moratorium rejected by MPs, BBC News, 26 January 2015, accessed 15 September 2016
  3. Damian Carrington, Fracking will be allowed under national parks, UK decides, The Guardian, 12 February 2015, accessed 27 October 2016.
  4. Ben Lucas, The General Election and Fracking – What do the Manifestos Say?, DESMOGUK, 17 April 2015, accessed 27 October 2016.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Government Communication House of Lords: Select Committee on Communication, accessed 26 January 2009