The prime minister Theresa May has been challenged over the introduction of E10 fuel in the House of Commons by one of her back benchers. 

Sir Oliver Heald, the Conservative MP for North East Hertfordshire and a member of the all-party parliamentary group for British bioethanol, said: “The prime minister will be aware that many countries now require petrol to contain 10% ethanol. 

“The effect of that measure in Britain would be a reduction in emissions equivalent to taking 700,000 cars off the road, and it would also secure jobs in the ethanol plants of the north-east of England.

“Will the Government move swiftly on this environmental measure so that we can have E10 here?”

Theresa May replied: “I thank my right honourable and learned friend for the work that the all-party parliamentary group for British bioethanol is doing on this issue.

“E10 would help to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, but it is not approved for use in all petrol vehicles.

“Any decision to introduce the new grade of petrol must balance the needs of consumers with the emissions reductions it could help to deliver.

“We will be publishing our next steps on E10 petrol later in the year. I am sure that the Department for Transport will study with interest the findings of the APPG’s inquiry into the issue.”