Press release
For immediate release, 15:33 a.m., 19th August 2013

Westminster, London

To speak to a campaigner involved in the action: 07792932225
Reclaim the Power Camp: 07447027112 / 07746339931

Anti-fracking campaigners have targeted the country home of former Tory Minister and George Osborne’s father-in-law Lord Howell in a protest against his support for shale gas fracking.

The protestors, from the Reclaim the Power Camp currently taking place in Balcombe, Sussex, have erected an estate agent’s sign outside the Peer’s house reading ‘For Shale – Desolate Properties Ltd.’

The activists have also hung a banner from Lord Howell’s garden gates, which reads: ‘Not In Your Back Yard, Lord Howell? Frack Off!’ and delivered a letter declaring the property desolate and a site for future fracking. [1]

Lord Howell has recently been in the news for controversially stating that fracking should be avoided in his part of the country, but go ahead in the ‘desolate’ North of England.

Guy Shrubsole from Reclaim the Power said:
“Fracking shouldn’t happen in anyone’s backyard – it’s hugely dangerous, will shatter communities and will release vast quantities of climate-changing gases.

“Lord Howell’s arrogant and ignorant recent comments show how wrong politicians are if they think they can railroad fracking through British communities.

“But they’re in for a shock, because as the battle for Balcombe shows, a massive popular rebellion is brewing on their doorsteps.”

The protest comes on the back of yesterday’s thousands-strong anti-fracking march in Balcombe, Sussex, and as part of a day of direct action organised by the Reclaim the Power camp.

Ruth London from Reclaim the Power added:
“Fracking is being sold as a solution to fuel poverty, but even Cuadrilla admit it will only decrease prices by 2-4%, if at all.

“Renewable energy and energy conservation would give us warm homes without destroying the climate or forcing us to go without food to pay our bills.”

During his career as a government Minister and energy adviser, Lord Howell frequently expressed strong support for fracking in the UK. He is also George Osborne’s father in law, and is thought to have influenced the Chancellor’s plans for a polluting new ‘dash for gas’.

It has been calculated that to extract 10% of the UK’s shale gas reserves would need 110,000 wells across the country – or an average of 164 per Parliamentary constituency.\\



Dear Lord Howell,

We write to inform you that as of today, 19th August 2013, your home has been designated as a desolate dwelling. Fracking will commence in 10 working days, following a public consultation, and regardless of its results.

Our democratic process has taken into account your submission stating that fracking should be confined to desolate and uninhabited areas of the North East (later North West). However, sufficient desolation has been discovered in your area on account of the absence of care for other people – especially those poorer than yourself – and the planet.

Under your soil our geologists have identified extensive reserves of both arrogance and ignorance which we regard as sufficient for sustainable, and above all profitable, exploitation of this site.

Your home is hereby For Shale and you are required to move out forthwith.

Yours faithfully,
Reclaim The Power