A TORY MP has been accused of "betraying" his constituents and going back on his word over fracking.

North Dorset Green Party said constituency MP Simon Hoare's vote in favour of the Government’s Draft Onshore Hydraulic Fracturing (Protected Areas) Regulations 2015 on Wednesday represented a U-turn on the opposition to fracking he had expressed before the General Election.

However Mr Hoare said his position hadn't changed, that "we have lost the argument", and that he had voted for strict regulations in order to protect sensitive areas.

Green Party branch chairman Anna Baker said: "I'm sure many voters in North Dorset will be feeling quite betrayed, on learning the news that Simon supported this proposal in the House of Commons. He has voiced his opposition to fracking on a number of occasions and yet he remained loyal to the Government on this critical issue.

"With nine licence blocks already issued in Dorset, including a number that will impact directly on communities in North Dorset, this is a devastating revelation and I hope electors will hold Simon to account."

The new regulations, which were approved by 298 votes to 261, allow fracking underneath areas of outstanding natural beauty, world heritage sites, and groundwater protection zones, and have attracted criticism as the Government claimed in January that it would introduce an "outright ban" on fracking in national parks.

However they stipulate there should be no fracking above 1,200 metres below any protected area, and that any drilling rigs or equipment must be located outside the area.

"I said I had suspicions over fracking during the election campaign, my position hasn't changed, I haven't been persuaded on fracking," said Mr Hoare.

"The Greens are still trying to wage a battle over whether it is a good thing or a bad thing, but we have lost that battle.

"The Government believes fracking has a role to play in energy generation. The change of policy to allow fracking underneath national parks requires tough new regulations to safeguard their environments.

"Did they want me to vote against these regulations? I think that would have been a dereliction of duty."