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Seven of the worst Tory climate change gaffes

Over the weekend, US Vice President Mike Pence refused to say that climate change is a threat to US national security and claimed that America had the cleanest air and water in the world.

A terrifying state of affairs we know, but this refusal to accept the threat of a climate catastrophe is not confined to American soil. Climate change scepticism continues to rear its head in the UK as well.

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We rounded up all the times the Conservative Party’s best and brightest have made Pence-worthy gaffes on climate change.

Boris Johnson

In 2015, the man likely be our next Prime Minister used his Daily Telegraph column to refer to global warming as a “primitive fear” that is “without foundation”.

In a weird twist, the column, headlined “I can’t stand this December heat, but it has nothing to do with global warming”, cited the work of Piers Corbyn, a known climate change denier and the older brother of Jeremy Corbyn.

Jeremy Hunt

If we don’t get Johnson in the top job we will get calamity Hunt instead and, given who he has taken donations from, that should not fill you with hope.

Last month, Hunt took a £25,000 campaign donation, his largest to date, from Terence Mordaunt. Mordaunt is director of the climate sceptic Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), which has been accused of “giving a platform to fringe climate science deniers”.

(Oh, and before we forget to mention it, Johnson took a donation from Mordaunt for his campaign too.) 

Andrea Leadsom

On becoming energy minister in 2015, Leadsom had to ask if climate change was real as she was not sure.

Although she then said she was persuaded it was indeed real, it seems that her credentials were a best pretty shaky for the energy job.

Matt Hancock

Hunt and Johnson are not the only Tories who could do with screening their donors a little better.

In 2015, when he was energy and climate change minister, down-with-the-kids Matt Hancock accepted an £18,000 donation from Neil Record.

Record presumably knows Mordaunt quite well, because he too is a leading climate change denier and is another key backer of the GWPF.

Liam Fox

Earlier this year, the international trade secretary was accused of legitimising climate change denial and branded a “dinosaur” after he said: “Whether or not individuals accept the current scientific consensus on the causes of climate change, it is sensible for everyone to use finite resources in a responsible way.”

Dr Fox later clarified his comments and claimed that he took environmental issues very seriously.

Theresa May

Before she got stuck into Brexit, Theresa May used her second day in office to abolish the Department for Energy and Climate Change, downgrading it into the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.

In other words, May kicked off her disastrous premiership by demoting the issue of the climate catastrophe on a national scale.

Jacob Rees Mogg

The Honourable Member for the Eighteenth Century has said that trying to solve environmental issues would take hundreds of years and that doing so was a waste of money.

Jacob Rees Mog also said that reducing people’s use of energy would be like “trying to go back to living in the Stone Age”.

Based on his views on abortion, he is already there.

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