I like the exchange between Dennis Skinner and Andrea Leadsom:
Question by Dennis Skinner, Labour, Bolsover
An application was made to start drilling at a little place called Calow in the Bolsover area. Most of the villagers were against the application, and it was turned down by the local planning committee. It then went to the Government inspector, because Cuadrilla wanted to appeal, and the Government inspector turned it down. Now I am told that it is possible that the Government are quite capable of overruling the decision of their own inspector and allowing fracking. Is that correct?
Reply by Andrea Leadsom
First, may I wish the hon. Gentleman a very happy birthday? I am sure that all Members would want me to do so.
I spent it on the picket line yesterday with the doctors.
The hon. Gentleman is a real challenge to, but a role model for, the House in the work that he does. I genuinely congratulate him and wish him a very happy birthday. In terms of the appeal, he has set out exactly what is supposed to happen. Local communities have their say and feed into the process. Developers can appeal, of course—it is right that they should be able to—and the inspector can turn it down. There is an appeal process. I am not sure about the specifics of the case he mentions, but the point is that democracy is done, and is seen to be done. That is very important.
Whatever happened to localism?
That is localism in action.
Lansom fails to answer the question, she is too busy wishing Skinner a happy birthday and evading the bleeding obvious, if the Government can overrule the decision of their own inspector, there is no localism. Good to see Skinner’s still on the picket lines.