NORTHWICH MP Mike Amesbury has said he will embrace being called a ‘nimby’ if it means voicing residents’ concerns on fracking.

The Weaver Vale representative was accused of ‘nimbyism’ by former environment secretary Liz Truss after asking Prime Minister Theresa May to say no to fracking.

Mr Amesbury told Mrs May at PMQs that Weaver Vale constituent Alison Davies was repeatedly approached by INEOS in a bid to conduct a geological survey on her farm.

He said: “Agents from the shale gas company INEOS recently posted a pre-named contract to my constituent Alison Davies, asking her to agree to a geological survey on her farm.

“Alison had already rejected this request when she was door-stepped a few days earlier.

“Does the PM know what it feels like to get an unsolicited letter from a group who will not take no for an answer, and will she join the Welsh and Scottish Governments by saying no to fracking in England?”

The PM said: “Shale gas extraction could be a very important part of ensuring energy security in this country.

“I am sure all the hon. Gentleman’s constituents and the constituents of others represented in this House will want to ensure the Government are doing everything they can to make sure we maintain our energy security and we do not see the lights being turned off.”

Shortly after the exchange, Mrs Truss posted on Twitter: “Good to see PM supporting fracking against NIMBY question. #frackontrack”

Mr Amesbury said that if standing up for constituents made him a nimby, then he would take it ‘as a compliment’.

Speaking outside the chamber, he said: “Once again the Tories show they’re now wedded to fracking despite the concerns of many other countries and large swathes of our rural communities. If Mrs May genuinely thinks people in my constituency will support this then I invite her to come here and speak to people on the ground.

“The government have turned their back on our farmers and on rural England and on all the others who have serious, legitimate concerns about fracking which is now banned in the Republic of Ireland, Germany, Scotland and France among others.

“My constituents have legitimate concerns and I will always stand up for them.”