The North of Tyne mayor angered Banks Mining, after using his column in The Journal to oppose their controversial plans to dig for coal in County Durham, Newcastle, and Northumberland
A war of words has broken out between the North of Tyne mayor and a mining firm.
Jamie Driscoll and Banks Mining have become embroiled in a row, after the mayor used his column in The Journal last week to oppose their hugely controversial plans to dig for coal in County Durham, Newcastle, and Northumberland.
The Durham-based developer hit back by accusing the Labour figurehead of “parroting wildly inaccurate platitudes” and refusing to meet with the firm.
Mr Driscoll, however, says he has twice spoken directly to Banks and has urged them to invest more in renewable energy sources.
Banks owns the Bradley mine near Dipton, where Extinction Rebellion staged massive protests last month over expansion plans, and also wants to dig opencast mines at Druridge Bay in Northumberland and Dewley Hill in Newcastle.
In response to his newspaper column, Banks claimed that the mayor “refuses to meet with us or with our 250 employees, whose future careers he wants to cast on the scrap heap”.
Mr Driscoll, who was recently criticised for his record on fighting climate change, responded: “Climate change is too serious to put in a box marked “too difficult”. I’ve had two face to face conversations with Banks representatives.
“In the first we both acknowledged and accepted that I was never going to support the extraction of fossil fuels.
“I was told that Banks invest in renewable energy, and I’d encourage them to diversify more of their investment into that sector, which is the future.