Top civil servant Jeremy Heywood met Cuadrilla chief straight after Sussex fracking announcement
The Cabinet Secretary attended dinner organised by Office of Unconventional Gas and Oil
Britain's most senior civil servant travelled hundreds of miles to attend a dinner with the Chief Executive of the fracking company Cuadrilla - just a day after the company announced its controversial plan to drill for shale gas in Sussex.
Sir Jeremy Heywood, the Cabinet Secretary attended the dinner in a private room of the Marriot Hotel in Preston in May this year.
He was joined by four other senior Government officials including the Permanent Secretary at the Department of Energy and Climate Change.
Other guests included representatives of the onshore oil and gas industry and service management company Carillion.
The meeting came to light in emails released to the environmental group Greenpeace in a Freedom of Information request.
It was organised by Office of Unconventional Gas and Oil which co-ordinates Government policy toward fracking. Its purpose was to discuss the development of fracking both in Lancashire and nationally.
While it is not unusual for Sir Jeremy to meet leading international business figures its timing suggests that it may have been called to reassure the industry of top level Government support for the plans for exploratory drilling in Balcombe - plans that were causing widespread public opposition at the time.
The day before the meeting the energy minister Michael Fallon spoke publically about the need to "build momentum" around shale gas.
He said it offered significant benefits to the nation's economy, to employment and to energy security.
Greenpeace said the meeting and the messages appeared to suggest "a close relationship" between Cuadrilla and senior civil servants.
However a Cabinet Office spokeswoman said that Sir Jeremy regularly met with senior industry figures and said details of the meeting would have been published anyway under the Government's transparency rules.
- 1 Video shows how to turn your phone into a 3D hologram
- 2 Artist Jamie McCartney: How The Great Wall of Vagina is a stand against 'body fascism'
- 3 Katie Hopkins reveals fear she will die during brain surgery to cure epilepsy
- 4 Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state
- 5 Michael B Jordan and Kate Mara handle excruciatingly awkward and offensive interview questions like pros
RideLondon 2015: Cyclist dies while climbing highest hill in Surrey during sportive
Katie Hopkins reveals fear she will die during brain surgery to cure epilepsy
Tensions flare as Confederate flag supporter reaches for gun when confronted by protests – in pictures
'Gene drive': Scientists sound alarm over supercharged GM organisms which could spread in the wild and cause environmental disasters
Tom Cruise: Reporters banned from asking actor about Scientology
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity agenda will harm poor, says Labour shadow Chancellor Chris Leslie
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'
Calais crisis: The seven claims made about the migrants - and the reality
Up to 70k DOE: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Financial Director ...
£20000 - £24000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Support Analyst vacancy with a we...
£30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic and interes...
£16224 - £20280 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Warehouse & Stores Supervisor...