Leeds & West Yorkshire

Tour de Yorkshire boycott over Ineos fracking

Ian Stannard Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Ian Stannard rode with Team Sky in the 2018 Tour de Yorkshire and will do again this year

Four councillors will boycott the Tour de Yorkshire next month in protest at fracking firm Ineos taking over the sponsorship of Team Sky.

Doncaster Labour councillors Dave Shaw, Nikki McDonald, Tosh McDonald and Lani-Mae Ball said they will not be supporting the race as it comes through the town on 3 May.

Ineos has licences to frack in Yorkshire, Cheshire and the Midlands.

Team Sky announced in March that it will become Team Ineos from 1 May.

Doncaster Council voted to ban fracking on council-owned land last year, but Ineos has a test site near the village of Misson just over the Doncaster boundary.

Mr Shaw said: "It's rank hypocrisy that last year Team Sky rode out with an orca whale on their backs, to highlight ocean pollution, are now the very team accepting money from one of the largest sources of that very pollution."

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Posting on social media, Ms Ball said: "I too will not support this event. We were lucky to have this in my community a few years back but I cannot allow a company that has licences to destroy the very areas that cyclists love to ride in."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Ineos founder and majority owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe is worth £21bn

The sponsorship of the team by Ineos, owned by Britain's richest man Sir Jim Ratcliffe, has been met with some opposition from campaigners who say the use of fracking to extract shale gas is harmful to the environment.

A spokesman for the chemicals company said: "We operate to the highest safety and environmental standards and utterly refute the claims of a fringe, anti-progress minority.

"As a society we live very privileged lives that would be impossible without the products we manufacture."

Team Sky declined to comment.

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