POLITICIANS have been lending their support to the protesters at the Kirby Misperton fracking site.

Jonathan Bartley, who is co-leader of the Green Party alongside Caroline Lucas, visited the protesters yesterday (Tuesday) to show support for their cause.

He was joined by Green Party members from across Yorkshire and the Humber.

Mr Bartley said: “It’s an honour to join activists on the frontline of the fight against fracking.

“Instead of destroying our climate commitments by drilling for gas, we should be investing in renewable energy for the future.”

Andrew Cooper, the party’s energy spokesman, added: “The Government is promoting the last dregs of the fossil fuel economy when the threat of climate change is becoming more evident with each passing day.

“We need to be supporting a future of renewable energy sources and more energy efficient buildings to reduce our demand for energy.”

A spokesman for gas company Third Energy, who are carrying out the work, said: “While energy from renewable sources is undoubtedly growing, gas will continue to play an important role in our lives: gas produces 42 per cent of the country’s electricity, 84 per cent of our homes are heated by gas, 61 per cent of cooking hobs are fuelled by gas and gas is the major feedstock for many of our industries.

“Today, 50 per cent of our gas comes from outside the UK – a significant turnaround from 17 years ago when we were an exporter.

“This is set to rise to 80 per cent in the next 17 years and has massive implications both economically and environmentally.

“This is why we need to develop new domestic gas resources.”

Meanwhile, the executive committee of Thirsk and Malton Labour Party are visiting the scene today (Wednesday). David Yellen, party chairman, said they were going to show their support for the campaign, but also “observing the conduct of policing which some reports claim is excessive and heavy handed”.

Rachael Maskell, Labour Party MP for York Central, will visit the site later in the morning.

The past week has been another period of direct action by protesters at the gates to the fracking site.

There has been daily confrontations with the police. Vehicle movements in Habton Road were also halted by a “lorry surfer”, who climbed onto an HGV in order to delay its progress, and several “lock-ons”, wherein protesters lock their arms inside heavy metal cylinders which need to be sawn apart by special police teams.

Police say that a total of 26 people were arrested at the site in September. Two were released with no further action, two accepted cautions, and the other 22 have been charged to court for offences including obstructing the highway and obstructing a police officer.