MP Yasmin Qureshi has demanded the government calls a halt to its plans to allow fracking to continue in the region after minor earthquakes were recorded by operators, Cuadrilla.

The MP for Bolton South Easth as written to Energy Minister, Claire Perry on the issue.

Ms Qureshi said: “I want to democratise our decisions on energy consumption, safeguard the autonomy of our local communities and protect Britain’s green and pleasant land.”

Evidence has shown that fracking is destructive towards the environment and eco systems, said Ms Qureshi. It pollutes drinking water and cements our dependence on fossil fuels, she said.

The Labour MP said: “I am still adamant that allowing fracking to take place is not in the best interests of the United Kingdom.”

The term fracking refers to the fracturing of rocks by the high-pressure mixture, injecting liquid to force open existing fissures and extract oil or gas.

Gas and oil company, Cuadrilla, whose headquarters are in Preston, faced protests while trying to receive planning permission from the local council. They eventually secured permission in October, 2016.

There have been 36 minor earthquakes recorded since they began their fracking on Preston New Road, near Blackpool after the government granted a licence to conduct its operations.

Ms Qureshi said: “There is no safe or sustainable way in which to carry out fracking and the government should cease its relentless pursuit of shale gas.”

The public’s opposition to fracking is growing rapidly, yet the Government is simply not listening to the concerns of residents in the UK, she added.

Wildlife charities are also calling for frack-free zones, including national parks and nature reserves because of the threat to the environment and our climate.

The capacity of renewable energy has tripled in the last five years and has now overtaken that of fossil fuels, which continues to fall.

Ms Qureshi added: “I believe we should follow Germany’s example and invest in renewable energy and green technologies, rather than environmentally destructive short-term solutions.

“We need to be looking at changing our energy provision now, not some time in the future.”

A Cuadrilla spokesperson said: “The micro-seismicity detected by sophisticated on-site monitors since hydraulic fracturing began at the Preston New Road exploration site was within the range of expectation and the Traffic Light System operated by the Oil and Gas Authority was functioning exactly as designed. The levels of seismicity detected at Preston New Road cannot be felt at surface still less cause any harm or damage. They are far below natural and induced seismicity frequently experienced all around the country and well below the equivalent experience from construction, quarrying and similar industries.”

The letters in full is available to view on Ms Qureshi’s website