TORY MPs are reportedly being told to treat a vote on fracking due on Wednesday afternoon as a de facto confidence vote in the Government.

In a letter to MPs seen by Sky News’s Beth Rigby, the Conservative deputy whip Craig Whittaker told MPs they must vote for fracking against a Labour ploy to force them into taking a stance on the controversial topic.

Party whips are responsible for ensuring discipline among MPs and to make them toe the line on key issues.

Labour’s shadow energy secretary Ed Miliband has devised a ploy to force Tory MPs – many of whom represent constituencies fiercely opposed to fracking in their areas – to take an official stance on the matter.

He has tabled a motion which would call on the Government to outright ban fracking. During her leadership campaign, Liz Truss put herself firmly on the side of shale gas extraction, but it remains a sensitive topic because of the risks of causing earthquakes.

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Some Tory MPs would have been mulling abstaining on the motion or even voting with the opposition to put on record their stance against fracking.

But Whittaker has told them this is not an option.

The letter reads: “This is not a motion on fracking. *This is a confidence motion in the Government.*

“We cannot, under any circumstances, let the Labour Party take control of the order paper and put through their own legislation and whatever other bits of legislation they desire.

“We are voting NP and I reiterate, this is a hard three-line whip with all slips withdrawn…

“I know this is difficult for some colleagues, but we simply cannot allow this to pass.”

It comes after one Tory MP outrageously claimed she would not allow fracking in her own constituency, in England, but that it could be 'appropriate' in Scotland.

After expressing her opposition to fracking in her area, Laura Farris, MP for Newbury in Berkshire, said: “I don’t know whether there are parts of the northern reaches of Scotland where there would be appropriate sites and I wouldn’t discourage it if there were”.

Truss’s premiership is hanging by a thread after a new opinion poll showed her having the lowest approval ratings of a prime minister on record, with a number of her own MPs publicly saying her time is up.

Her disastrous mini-budget spooked international markets and resulted in the sacking of her chancellor and close ally Kwasi Kwarteng, who has since been replaced by Jeremy Hunt.