ANTI-fracking campaigners have criticised an MP for attempting to develop a regional plan for the controversial gas production method with energy firms ahead of a key meeting.

Frack Free Ryedale said Thirsk and Malton MP Kevin Hollinrake's Producers Summit with INEOS, Cuadrilla, Third Energy and iGas on February 8, would come the day before a North Yorkshire County Council meeting to decide if fracking could go ahead at Kirby Misperton, near Malton.

Mr Hollinrake said the meeting was being held to ensure fracking would be done in a balanced and measured way.

He said: "This means robust regulations in place to protect the environment, minimise the impact on communities, groundwater monitoring, community benefits and exclusion of surface activity relating to hydraulic fracturing in protected areas.

"I intend to keep up the pressure I began in 2015 to get some clear answers and commitments to key issues such as the independent supervision of regulations; a robust ‘local plan’ for fracking covering a five year rollout; detailed solutions for concerns such as traffic plans, distance from schools, town and villages and impacts on other important parts of our economy."

Chris Redston, of Frack Free Ryedale, said: "It's clear that Kevin Hollinrake has now dropped all pretence of being open-minded and impartial on the issue of fracking, and is now taking on the role of the fracking industry's chief PR spin doctor."