Rachael Maskell, Labour Party MP for York Central, was at Kirby Misperton Protection Camp on Saturday 4 March with Thirsk and Malton Labour Party to meet and support the campaigners. She spent over an hour at the Camp talking to anti fracking campaigners and went on to look at the fracking site.
The Protection Camp was established just before Christmas with the aim of demonstrating continued opposition to fracking by Third Energy at Kirby Misperton and to take peaceful and legal action to prevent it.  Local people support the Camp and provide food, water, fuel, bathroom and laundry services for the residents. The camp is well organised with an equipped kitchen, a common lounge, art and crafts tent and a broadcasting studio. Since being set up it has had a constant stream of visitors from near and far coming to show their support and bring supplies.Rachael Maskell MP said:
“Kirby Misperton is on the front line in the national fight against fracking. There were almost 4,000 local objections to the planning application, over 99% of all respondents, all of whom were completely ignored. If politicians do not listen to the voices of local residents, then they are left with no choice but to take direct action and protect their environment, and then have their say at the ballot box come the election.”Local resident Eddie Thornton quit his job and moved into the camp when the local community failed to stop fracking in the courts. He said:
‘”For the last 3 years my community has tried everything within the normal system to stop fracking, but our voices have been ignored.  So now we have no other option but to engage in a sustained campaign of peaceful, non-violent direct action to let central government know this district is not for fracking.”Thirsk and Malton Anti-Fracking Campaigner, Mick Johnston says:
“Thirsk and Malton Labour Party has been campaigning against fracking since it was first proposed in Ryedale. We stand with the Kirby Misperton Protection Camp and applaud its commitment to the environment and its ethical campaign pledge. What they are doing is for all Ryedale residents who oppose fracking. We need to invest in renewable and community based energy sources and not the harmful burning of more fossil fuels. It’s great to see Rachael Maskell here as a member of parliament. It is a disgrace that our own MP has not only ignored the wishes of the majority of Ryedale people by supporting fracking but is doing his best to smoothe the way for fracking companies with his Parliamentary Group. The latest twist is that the Government are right now scheming to remove the protection from fracking that they previously gave to National Parks.


Notes for editor
For Rachael Maskell contact: 01904 623713 @RachaelMaskell

Pictures of Rachael Maskell with members of the camp, supporters including members of the Thirsk and Malton Labour Party