Green MP Caroline Lucas charged over fracking protest

Caroline Lucas outside Cuadrilla's oil drilling site in Balcombe
Image caption Caroline Lucas took part in protests in Balcombe in August

Former Green Party leader Caroline Lucas has been charged over a fracking protest at Balcombe in West Sussex.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said the Brighton Pavilion MP faced one count under the Public Order Act and one of obstructing a highway.

It said it considered there was sufficient evidence and that it was in the public interest to prosecute.

Ms Lucas was among about 30 protesters arrested near where energy firm Cuadrilla had been drilling for oil.

She was filmed sitting in the road, alongside her son and a number of other protesters on 19 August.

'In public interest'

Ms Lucas, whose constituency is about 20 miles from the site of the protests, was arrested and later released on bail.

Nigel Pilkington, a senior CPS lawyer, said: "After careful consideration, we have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and that it is in the public interest to prosecute Ms Lucas for breaching a police order on public assemblies and wilful obstruction of the highway."

Ms Lucas is due to appear at Crawley Magistrates' Court on 9 October.

She said in a statement: "Sussex Police have today confirmed I am being charged with two offences arising out of my arrest in Balcombe on 19 August.

"I firmly believe in the right to peaceful protest and remain deeply concerned about the impact of fracking on climate change and the wider environment.

"I have been advised by my lawyer to make no further comment at this stage."

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites