Opposition to fracking is “nimbyism and it needs to be put down”, according to Tory former Cabinet minister Lord Tebbit.
The Conservative peer warned if the authorities “were to give in” to protesters opposed to the controversial technique to extract shale gas, then those campaigning against new housing developments “would be at it as well”.
Lord Tebbit made his criticism during a question in the House of Lords on the additional policing costs generated by fracking.
Two schemes in Lancashire and North Yorkshire have been the subject of mass protests.
Tory frontbencher Baroness Vere of Norbiton told peers that: “Peaceful protest is a vital part of our democratic society, but it’s important that protesters protest within the law.”
She highlighted the situation at the Yorkshire site near the village of Kirby Misperton, which in recent weeks had seen 26 people arrested, of which 22 had been charged, including for assaulting a police officer.
Lady Vere said: “If people were able to stay within the law, then maybe the taxpayer wouldn’t have to pay for all these additional policing costs.”
The Conservative peer also said it was a “great shame” that the Scottish government had banned fracking.
She added: “We believe that hydraulic fracturing can be done safely in the UK and that there are strong regulations in place to protect individuals.
“It is important because it will reduce our gas imports, it will create jobs and also it will heat our homes.”