A WINSFORD councillor warned about instability in the Middle East during a discussion about fracking.

Lib Dem Cllr Malcolm Gaskill was speaking at Winsford Town Council’s last meeting on Monday, January 18.

The council had been asked to give its views on the government granting licenses to energy firms to explore a number of locations in Cheshire with a view to fracking.

While council members pointed out there was little they could say until a planning application is submitted, Cllr Gaskill spoke about tensions in the Middle East.

Cllr Gaskill said: “We may find ourselves in 10 years’ time needing every bit of shale we can find under the UK just to keep going.

“It may not be the case. Isis may go away and everyone will be friendly in the Middle East.

“It’s dangerous. If anybody understands the Muslim religion – you ain’t seen nothing like it.

“Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland or southern Ireland is a Sunday school outing compared to putting one group of Muslims in a room with another group of Muslims.”

Cllr Gaskill said he has had an office in the Middle East since 1985.

He told councillors that he had seen first-hand how Muslims from opposing countries struggle to live side-by-side.

He said: “I have seen total strangers come to blows in my own office when one discovered the other one was from the opposite side. Absolute fistfights for no reason other than he was the other type.

“They will fight to the death until one of them wins, and the last man standing will run the Muslim religion.

“So they’re totally irrational when it comes to that, they’re totally irrational whether they are going to supply you with any fuel or oil or gas or anything else, so you just need to bare that in mind where we’re going to get our fuel from if Putin turns the taps off and the Middle East does the same.”

Cllr David Edwards said: “While I recognise there are some terrible conflicts in the Middle East and conflicts between religions, we must recognise that the majority of Muslims live side by side in peace as they do in this country.”