UK Government MP Resigns as Vice Chair of Shale Gas Parliamentary Group

A UK Member of Parliament who was vice chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APGG) on Unconventional Oil and Gas said he resigned his position after pressure to stand down from people opposed to shale gas fracking who live in the constituency he represents.

Kevin Hollinrake is a member of the ruling Conservative Party, which supports the development of a shale gas industry in the UK, but he is also the MP for the northern England constituency of Thirsk and Malton, where an application has been made to frack for shale gas near the village of Kirby Misperton. In a statement posted to his Web site on Monday, Hollinrake said that he resigned from the APPG last Thursday, sending the group's chair an email that stated:

"A number of constituents have contacted me to express concerns that my involvement with the above is inappropriate, due to the amount of sponsorship it receives from the oil and gas industry. Clearly, this would never influence any of us to take a particular view, but nevertheless, I think I should resign as an officer to make sure that my impartiality is not called into question."

The APPG on Unconventional Oil & Gas is funded by a number of companies interested in onshore drilling in the UK as well as industry lobby group UKOOG.

Hollinrake said that he is now setting up a new APPG for Shale Gas Regulation and Planning, which he intends will be independently funded.

In his statement posted Monday, Hollinrake added:

"I have been careful to be entirely transparent about my role in the debate about fracking in his constituency. I paid for my own trip to Pennsylvania in September 2015 to find out more about the fracking industry as part of the learning process to better understand how it would affect the constituency of Thirsk and Malton.


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A former engineer, Jon is an award-winning editor who has covered the technology, engineering and energy sectors since the mid-1990s. Email Jon at jmainwaring@rigzone.com

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