Fracking will no longer proceed in the United Kingdom because of an "unacceptable" risk of earthquakes, the Government says.

The controversial method of extracting gas from the Earth will be put on hold after a report from the Oil and Gas Authority found it was not possible to "accurately predict" the probability or magnitude of earthquakes linked to fracking.

Successive governments had hoped fracking — blasting water deep underground to crack shale rocks and release the gas held inside them — could provide a new energy source for the UK.

The Government said this depended on fracking being "safe, sustainable and of minimal disturbance to those living and working nearby".

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But fracking operations at Cuadrilla Resources' Lancashire site, Preston New Road, have repeatedly resulted in tremors higher than those legally permitted.

The Government said it was imposing "a moratorium on fracking until compelling new evidence is provided".

Business and Energy Secretary Andrea Leadsom said: "While acknowledging the huge potential of UK shale gas to provide a bridge to a zero carbon future, I've also always been clear that shale gas exploration in the UK must be carried out safely."

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson hinted at the ban last week, telling MPs an announcement was to come shortly.