THE Barrow and Furness Constituency Labour Party (CLP) members have joined forces to hit out at controversial plans to create a new coal mine in West Cumbria.

The Barrow and Furness Constituency Labour Party has overwhelmingly voted in favour of supporting a statement initiated by Furness Young Labour at a recent All members meeting to oppose the plans for the coal mine.

Scott Salisbury, spokesperson for Furness Young Labour, said: “The Labour Party, both nationally and locally in the Barrow and Furness Constituency, take seriously the issue of climate change and the existential threat it poses to humanity.

“For that reason, we are firmly opposed to the Cumbria Coal Mine, which scientific experts including the UK’s Climate Change Committee are clear is incompatible with our climate change obligations and will contribute to runaway global warming.”

He said if the coal mine is approved then it risks damaging “the amazing work” done by the local Labour-led council and “destroying the public image of our county” as a leader in renewable energy.”

Gary Robinson, executive committee member of the Barrow and Furness Constituency Labour Party, said: “Supporting the creation of further job opportunities in sustainable and renewable energy in the region is clearly a better course of action for both the short and long-term for Cumbria, rather than something that has such a negative impact on the planet.”

Simon Fell, the Conservative MP for Barrow and Furness, said: “The proposed mine will produce is coking coal which is required for making steel. Every single renewable technology we are supporting and promoting needs new steel, so either we continue to import coking coal from Australia - and countries like Russia with no environmental safeguards to speak to - or we produce it here under our own tight environmental controls, helping domestic steel production and limiting the use of Russian or Chinese coking coal by not just the UK, but our European neighbours too.”

Michelle Scrogham, an Ulverston town councillor and deputy mayor, has also hit out at the plans.

“That people are so desperate for jobs in this county that some consider fighting to open a coal mine speaks volumes on the record of this Tory government,” she said.