Caroline made the following statement after pleading not guilty to charges arising from her peaceful protest at Balcombe:
“On 19 August, I took part in a peaceful local protest against fracking. I sat down outside the entrance to a drilling site run by Cuadrilla in Balcombe.
“Along with 29 others, I was arrested. I was subsequently charged with obstructing the highway and failing to comply with police conditions imposed on the protest.
“Today I pleaded not guilty to these charges.
“The campaign to reduce the threat of climate change is incredibly important to me. Fracking for shale gas seriously undermines efforts to tackle the climate crisis, which in turn means that our children will inherit a much more dangerous world.
“I’m in the privileged position of being able to make the case in Parliament. I’ve tabled motions, arranged debates, put questions to Ministers, and spoken out in the media. But the Government is not only refusing to listen to the evidence, it is choosing to become flag-waver in chief for the fracking industry, offering them generous tax breaks as well as allowing them to hold senior roles within Government itself.
“By joining the peaceful protest at Balcombe I wanted to join with others in actively opposing the exploitation of yet more fossil fuels.
“There will be a trial early next year. My constituents will be able to contact me as usual, and I will continue to hold my weekly surgeries, attend local meetings and represent Brighton Pavilion in parliamentary debates.
“I have been advised by my lawyer to make no further comment at this stage.”
Read Caroline’s open letter to constituents
Read Caroline’s Guardian article