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Tory MP Chris Skidmore to quit over bill ‘that promotes production of new oil and gas’ | Politics News

A former energy minister has said he will quit as a Conservative MP over new legislation “that promotes the production of new oil and gas”.

Chris Skidmore has said he will resign when parliament returns next week over the Offshore Petroleum Licensing Bill.

The senior Tory had already announced his intention to stand down at the next general election, but bringing this forward will trigger a by-election in his Kingswood constituency in Gloucestershire.

That seat is being abolished at the election in constituency boundary changes, meaning whoever takes his place could be an MP only for a matter of months, with Rishi Sunak expected to go to the polls in the second half of this year.

Announcing his decision on social media, Mr Skidmore said: “The bill would in effect allow more frequent new oil and gas licences and the increased production of new fossil fuels in the North Sea.

“I can no longer stand by. The climate crisis that we face is too important to politicise or to ignore.”

The Offshore Petroleum Licensing Bill will allow oil and gas companies to bid for new licences to drill for fossil fuels every year.

The government argues it is important for domestic energy production but it has been widely criticised by climate groups.

Tory high command will be furious

Jon Craig - Chief political correspondent

Jon Craig

Chief political correspondent


A by-election in Kingswood, a suburban seat to the east of Bristol, is not a very attractive proposition for any aspiring candidates.

That’s because the constituency, where Chris Skidmore had a 11,220 majority at the last election, is being abolished at the next general election.

That was a reason Mr Skidmore, an environmental crusader his critics would claim is a zealot, gave when he announced in 2022 that he planned to stand down at the end of…

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This notice was published: 2024-01-05 17:40:00

By Sky News

Sky News is a British 24-hour information television channel, the first in Europe of its kind, launched on February 5, 1989 by the British Sky Broadcasting Company.

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