Boris Johnson criticised by Greens over ’embarrassing’ climate debate no-show

The Scottish Greens have said any word that comes out of Boris Johnson’s mouth cannot be trusted after the Prime Minister avoided a leaders’ debate on the climate.

Co-leader Patrick Harvie, speaking at a demonstration in George Square, Glasgow, on Friday, criticised Mr Johnson after he opted out of the debate hosted by Channel 4 News on Thursday evening.

Despite representation from Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon, Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson, Plaid Cymru’s Adam Price and Green co-leader Sian Berry at the debate, Mr Johnson did not appear.

Instead, Michael Gove and Boris Johnson’s father, Stanley, turned up at Channel 4 HQ, with Mr Gove asking to be included in the debate.

Climate strike Glasgow
Climate strike Glasgow

“I think it’s a bad sign the Conservatives couldn’t be bothered sending their leader to the climate debate,” Mr Harvie told the PA news agency.

“I’m not sure he would have added anything and most people I think know that any word that comes out of Boris Johnson’s mouth cannot be trusted, cannot be believed.”

He added: “This is someone that said he would lie down in front of the bulldozers to stop the Heathrow expansion.

“He was lying then and he’s lying about pretty much everything else that he says.

“The challenge is to change our politics, not to double down on the toxic, hard-right agenda that Boris Johnson represents.”

General Election 2019
General Election 2019

Scottish Green MSP Ross Greer said the no-show from Mr Johnson was not only embarrassing for him but for the country as a whole.

“I remember when I was at primary school there was always that one kid who said, ‘my daddy’s going to do you in’,” he said.

“That’s what Boris Johnson actually tried to do last night, he sent his dad to try and do a climate debate for him.

“The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom wouldn’t turn up to debate the other political leaders on the most pressing issue that our whole species faces.”

He added: “It was embarrassing for him but it’s also embarrassing for the country and it showed that the Tories not only have no real answers on tackling the climate crisis, their policies and the corporations they support and are funded by, are the ones causing the crisis.

“They are the crisis and that’s why we need to get rid of this Tory Government and replace it with a Government with a collection of political parties and a movement who will actually tackle this crisis.”