Tory election manifesto 'to be written by fracking lobbyist'

A claim that the Conservatives' election manifesto is being written by a lobbyist for the fracking company Cuadrilla features in today's newspaper round-up.

The Guardian reports that the manifesto for December’s likely general election is being written by Rachel Wolf, "a lobbyist for the fracking company Cuadrilla and major internet companies such as Amazon and Facebook". The paper says that Wolf will write the document while "continuing to work as a partner at Public First, a business which lobbies ministers on behalf of the shale gas industry".

An article in The Times (subscription) says Cuadrilla has claimed that it has extracted shale gas from a well in Lancashire "of sufficiently high quality that it could be fed straight into the gas grid". The paper says that "Cuadrilla is the only company to frack for shale gas in the UK to date. It believes that it is sitting on vast natural gas resources in Lancashire, but its efforts to exploit them have been beset by problems and delays."

The Times reports that "Bristol is set to become the first city in Britain to ban diesel cars under the toughest measures yet seen to combat air pollution". The paper says the city council "wants to prohibit diesels from entering part of the centre from 7am to 3pm daily to cut dangerous levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2)".

The Times also reports that "the Grenfell fire inquiry’s conclusion that cladding and insulation on the tower broke safety regulations will open the way for the prosecution of companies involved in refurbishing it". The paper says that Sir Martin Moore-Bick, chairman of the inquiry, said he had not intended during the first phase to investigate whether the building complied with regulations but concluded that there was "compelling evidence" that the external walls did not.

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