Gas drilling in Jeremy Hunt’s Surrey constituency gets government approval


Good morning.

The Government has given the all-clear to a controversial gas drilling project in the bucolic Surrey countryside.

A written statement from housing minister Stuart Andrew confirmed UK Oil & Gas has been granted a three-year licence to explore a site at Loxley near Dunsfold.

It comes even after the project was twice rejected by Tory-run Waverley Borough Council while Jeremy Hunt, the Conservative MP for South West Surrey, has also opposed the move.

UK Oil & Gas, which welcomed the decision, has estimated that the site could hold 43bn cubic metres of gas, and the drilling will allow it to determine the extent of the reserves.

5 things to start your day 

1) Cost of filling up average car hits £100 as petrol prices soar: The price of filling a tank of petrol is expected to hit £100 for the first time today as the cost of living crisis deepens.

2)  UK food supply ‘vulnerable’ after fertiliser factory closes permanently: Britain’s food supply is now “vulnerable” after spiralling energy bills prompted the permanent closure of one of only two major fertiliser plants, farmers have warned.

3) Sunak urged to cut taxes to tackle slowest growth of any major economyRishi Sunak has been urged by an influential global think tank to consider tax cuts as its forecasts show the UK is on track to grow more slowly than any major economy in the shadow of the war in Ukraine.

4) Households shell out more than £500m to switch off wind turbines: The cost of switching off wind turbines jumped to a record last year as the UK’s cable network and storage capacity struggled to keep up with the amount of electricity generated.

5) Euan Blair worth £337m after his start-up is valued at more than £1bn: Tony Blair’s son has an estimated paper fortune of £337m after his Multiverse start-up secured fresh investments that pushed its value over £1bn for the first time.

What happened overnight 

Hong Kong stocks were up at the start of trade this morning, with the Hang Seng Index rising 0.5pc.

The Shanghai Composite Index dropped 0.1pc while the Shenzhen Composite Index on China’s second exchange lost 0.2pc.

Tokyo stocks trended higher, with the benchmark Nikkei 225 index up 0.2pc.

Coming up today

  • Corporate: CMC Markets, Fuller Smith & Turner, ITM Power, Mitie, Norcros (full-year results), AVI Global Trust, RWS (interim results), British American Tobacco (trading update)
  • Economics: RICS housing survey (UK), trade (China), European Central Bank decision (eurozone), jobless claims (US)


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