Westmorland MP Tim Farron has again been told not to “interfere” in Copeland’s plans for a new undersea coal mine.

County councillor Arthur Lamb has become the second West Cumbrian politician to hit out at the Liberal Democrat’s intervention in the debate.

Mr Farron has written to the Government calling for the decision to grant planning permission for the £165 million project to be “called in” by the Sectretary of State.

Mr Farron said fossil fuels need to “stay in the ground” and has defended his involvement on the grounds of fighting climate change.

But Cllr Lamb, the Conservative member for Cleator Moor East and Frizington. has joined Copeland Mayor Mike Starkie in telling him to butt out.

Cllr Lamb told a meeting of the county council that he was “disappointed” in the MP’s actions.

He accused him of  “seeking to overturn the democratic decision” of the county council by putting pressure on the Government.

Cllr Lamb said: “At a recent meeting of this council’s development control and regulation committee planning approval was granted unanimously for West Cumbria Mining on a cross-party basis, based on sound advice from officers.

“The plans by West Cumbria Mining provide a welcome boost to the West Cumbria economy. Perhaps Tim Farron should focus on issues in his own constituency rather than interfering in those of Copeland.”

In response, county council Labour cabinet member for economic development, Cllr David Southward said he would not criticise the MP.

Cllr Southward said the decision was “unanimously approved” and the only way the decision could be overturned was via a judicial review or by the direct intervention of the Secretary of State.

Defending his involvement in the debate, Mr Farron said he understood the  need for jobs and investment on the west coast.

He said: “I draw the line at fossil fuels. The climate catastrophe is the biggest issue that we face and for the sake of all our children and grandchildren we need to do everything we can to combat global warming.”

The project is expected to create 500 jobs following the collapse of the Moorside nuclear investment deal.

West Cumbria Mining wants to extract coking coal off the coast of St Bees, with a processing plant on the former Marchon site at Kells.

Opponents Radiation Free Lakeland, have run a campaign called Keep Cumbrian Coal In The Hole. They have also petitioned the Secretary of State James Brokenshire MP to call in the “outrageous decision”.