Dame Vivienne Westwood's son Joe Corré speaks out about the jailed anti-fracking protesters

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Dame Vivienne Westwood's son Joe Corré addressed the crowd gathered at the gates of the Little Plumpton site, where shale gas exploration company Cuadrilla this week began fracking the two wells it has drilled there.

He spoke about the three anti-fracking protesters who were jailed this month for lorry surfing at the site which caused a disruption to traffic on the A583 for four days.

Dame Vivienne Westwood and son Joe Corre protest outside the energy firm Cuadrilla's facking site in Preston New Road, Little Plumpton, near Blackpool. Photo credit: PA Wire

Dame Vivienne Westwood and son Joe Corre protest outside the energy firm Cuadrilla's facking site in Preston New Road, Little Plumpton, near Blackpool. Photo credit: PA Wire

He said: "Britain's Democracy has been run roughshod over by the Tories who are defying local government objection to fracking to instead stand up for the dying oil and gas industry and breach our Paris climate change objectives".

"The man they did it all for, Brexiteer Jim Ratcliffe, Britain's richest man worth £20bn according to the Sunday Times Rich List 2018, and owner of INEOS, the petrochemicals #Fracking4Plastic monster, has repaid the Tory's steadfast loyalty by leaving the country and become a tax exile in Monaco.

"Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France and Germany have all had proper debates on fracking and rejected it. England alone has not debated it and the Government has just forced it through despite local democratic opposition.

"The Conservative Government is now isolated as the only main political party waving the last and final flag of air polluting fracking".

"But now even Tory politicians are seeing sense and are coming out against it.

"Our message to the three protesters jailed is one of support. The jailing was a disgrace. I hope they win their appeal this week."

But Lancashire For Shale which supports the fracking industry, believing it will bring jobs, a boost to the economy and a home grown gas supply for energy and resources, criticised the visit.

A spokesman said: "The hard working people and businesses of Lancashire deserve the chance to benefit from the opportunities that a successful shale gas industry will be responsible for - opportunities that this poorly informed, politically motivated millionaire seems to want to deny them.

"It's also rather ironic that she should come here to criticise the environmental credentials of UK shale gas considering that the fashion industry is one of the top five most polluting industries in the world.

"According to Lucy Seigle, a journalist specialising in environmental issues, the fashion industry 'lures us into buying more clothes than we need' at a considerable cost to the planet."