THE Government’s ‘temporary’ ban on fracking has been labelled as a ‘cynical’ pre-election ploy.

Andy Carter, Tory parliamentary candidate for Warrington South, has welcomed news that fracking will not be allowed to proceed in England following the publication of new scientific analysis.

He says Conservative ministers have ‘listened to the concerns raised’ on the issue.

“I was not convinced that there was sufficient evidence to proceed with further development, the Oil and Gas Authority have reached the same conclusion and I’m pleased we’ve now placed a moratorium on all development,” he said.

“If the risk of unacceptable impacts on local communities is high, we cannot proceed, so this is the right decision.”

But Lyndsay McAteer, deputy leader of Warrington and Halton Green Party, is calling for fracking to be banned ‘completely’.

Ms McAteer, the party’s Warrington North parliamentary candidate, said: “The Conservative moratorium on fracking is a cynical election campaign announcement, which promises everything and nothing at the same time.

“There is no commitment to ending fracking in the UK once and for all.

“A ‘temporary’ pause to fracking is not a ban on fracking. It is a half measure and it is a totally inadequate response.”

The issue has also sparked responses from Faisal Rashid, Labour’s parliamentary candidate in Warrington South, and Cllr Ryan Bate, the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate in Warrington South.

Mr Rashid, who is battling to retain the seat in the general election on December 12, said: “The Tories are only committed to temporarily pausing fracking in order to win a few votes in the election campaign, a cynical ploy we’ve seen them use in Warrington before.

“Only Labour will fully commit to ban fracking – immediately and indefinitely.

“We’ll stand up to the large oil companies and polluters destroying our planet in the name of profit.”

Cllr Bate said: “A moratorium is welcome but it is not a ban. An immediate ban is required right now.

“Wherever shale gas extraction, commonly known as fracking, has been proposed, the public and local authorities have opposed it.

“There is a real fear that if Brexit happens there will be a bonfire of environmental regulations.”