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Green Party MP charged over UK fracking protest

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    File picture shows then European MP Caroline Lucas in Baghdad on February 4, 2003.AFP

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    Climate and anti-fracking protesters block the road to disrupt the arrival of a vehicle into the test drilling site operated by British energy firm Cuadrilla Resources in Balcombe, southern England, on August 20, 2013.AFP

Prominent Green Party MP Caroline Lucas was charged under the Public Order Act Wednesday following her arrest last month at an anti-fracking protest outside a drilling site in Sussex.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said Lucas -- the Green Party's first and only politician voted into parliament -- had been charged with breaching public order and wilful obstruction of a highway.

Lucas was among 30 people arrested as hundreds demonstrated against the controversial extraction method of hydraulic fracturing outside energy firm Cuadrilla's test drilling site in the village of Balcombe.

Nigel Pilkington, a CPS lawyer, said the decision to charge Lucas was taken "after careful consideration" following an investigation by Sussex Police.

"We have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and that it is in the public interest to prosecute Ms Lucas for breaching a police order on public assemblies and wilful obstruction of the highway," Pilkington said.

Both offences are alleged to have taken place on August 19, 2013, the CPS said.

Lucas will appear before Crawley Magistrates' Court on October 9, 2013 to face the charges, it added.

Lucas has been the MP for Brighton Pavilion since 2010 and was leader of the Green Party between 2008 and 2012.