Fashion icon Dame Vivienne Westwood shows support for anti-fracking campaigners in Lancashire

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London fashion icon Dame Vivienne Westwood visited Cuadrilla's fracking site to show support for campaigners hoping to stop the shale gas industry.

The fashion designer was at the Preston New Road drill site near Little Plumnpton with her son Joe Corré who is an environmental activist and delivered a political message to a large group of supporters.

She told them that fracking had to be stopped for the sake of the planet as more fossil fuel extraction would only make global warming worse and leave the world facing global catastrophe in a generation.

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And she danced to ABBA's Dancing Queen to mock Prime Minister Theresa May who also danced to the hit on the stage at the Conservative Party Conference earlier this month.

Dame Vivienne Westwood and her son Jo Corre with banners she helped design at the Preston New Road fracking site near Little PlumptonDame Vivienne Westwood and her son Jo Corre with banners she helped design at the Preston New Road fracking site near Little Plumpton
Dame Vivienne Westwood and her son Jo Corre with banners she helped design at the Preston New Road fracking site near Little Plumpton

Dame Vivienne said: "We are supposed to believe in the rule of law but we have seen here that the law is only there to protect the Tory Government, its friends and cronies.

"This visit is also about freedom to protest. We have seen here that if you are going to protest about government misrule like we have seen with fracking, then you are going to be put in prison.

"I have a message to Theresa May. We we have the Lancashire Nanas and the aunties protesting against fracking, she is just anti, anti-people, anti-world and anti-lives. If we do not act now to cut greenhouse gases we are in danger of mass extinction, probably within a generation. Fracking is a part of that.

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"Fracking is not really about power, it is about powering the pockets of the people behind it. It is so heavily subsidised, it is just there for the investors."

Her son Joe Corré also addressed the crowd gathered at the gates of the Little Plumpton site, where shale gas exploration company Cuadrilla this week began fracking the two wells it has drilled there.

He spoke about the three anti-fracking protesters who were jailed this month for lorry surfing at the site which caused a disruption to traffic on the A583 for four days.

He said: "Britain's Democracy has been run roughshod over by the Tories who are defying local government objection to fracking to instead stand up for the dying oil and gas industry and breach our Paris climate change objectives".

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"The man they did it all for, Brexiteer Jim Ratcliffe, Britain's richest man worth £20bn according to the Sunday Times Rich List 2018, and owner of INEOS, the petrochemicals #Fracking4Plastic monster, has repaid the Tory's steadfast loyalty by leaving the country and become a tax exile in Monaco.

"Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France and Germany have all had proper debates on fracking and rejected it. England alone has not debated it and the Government has just forced it through despite local democratic opposition.

"The Conservative Government is now isolated as the only main political party waving the last and final flag of air polluting fracking".

"But now even Tory politicians are seeing sense and are coming out against it.

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"Our message to the three protesters jailed is one of support. The jailing was a disgrace. I hope they win their appeal this week."

But Lancashire For Shale which supports the fracking industry, believing it will bring jobs, a boost to the economy and a home grown gas supply for energy and resources, criticised the visit.

A spokesman said: "The hard working people and businesses of Lancashire deserve the chance to benefit from the opportunities that a successful shale gas industry will be responsible for - opportunities that this poorly informed, politically motivated millionaire seems to want to deny them.

"It's also rather ironic that she should come here to criticise the environmental credentials of UK shale gas considering that the fashion industry is one of the top five most polluting industries in the world.

"According to Lucy Seigle, a journalist specialising in environmental issues, the fashion industry 'lures us into buying more clothes than we need' at a considerable cost to the planet."