The British government has provoked anger from environmental campaigners by approving a controversial new coal mine in Cumbria.

Levelling-Up Secretary Michael Gove granted planning permission for what would be the the first new site in the UK in 30 years after years of delay from the government.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) said the coal from the mine near Whitehaven, to be known as Woodhouse Colliery, will be used for the production of steel and not for power generation.

Friends of the Earth described it as an "appalling decision" that will damage the fight against the climate crisis while not replacing Russian coal.

DLUHC said Mr Gove "agreed to grant planning permission for a new metallurgical coal mine in Cumbria as recommended by the independent planning inspector".

"This coal will be used for the production of steel and would otherwise need to be imported. It will not be used for power generation," a statement read.

"The mine seeks to be net zero in its operations and is expected to contribute to local employment and the wider economy."

Labour shadow climate secretary Ed Miliband said it is "no solution to the energy crisis, it does not offer secure, long-term jobs, and it marks this government giving up on all pretence of climate leadership".

"Waving this mine through further cements Rishi Sunak as an out of date fossil fuel PM in a renewable age," the MP said.

The move also threatens to anger some Conservative MPs, who were opposing the mine.

Friends of the Earth campaigner Tony Bosworth said: "Approving this mine is a misguided and deeply damaging mistake that flies in the face of all the evidence.

"The mine isn't needed, will add to global climate emissions, and won't replace Russian coal."