Boris Johnson has said he is done with “nice young people” thinking their opinions are “more important” than his own.
In his latest Telegraph column, the ex-foreign secretary took aim at what he called “smug, irritating and disruptive” climate change demonstrators who brought parts of central London to a standstill last week.
“Look, I share some of the irritation at these climate change protesters. I am not in favour of paralysing public transport in the greatest city on earth, and stopping people from getting to work,” he wrote.
“I don’t want some double-barrelled activist telling me that air travel is only to be used in emergencies – when his own Instagram account contains pictures of his recent skiing holiday.”
Surely this is the time for the protesters to take their pink boat to Tiananmen Square
It comes as protest group Extinction Rebellion (XR) drew criticism about the “privilege” of taking time off work to protest last week.
In true form, the MP continued: “I am utterly fed up with being told by nice young people that their opinions are more important than my own – because they will be around a lot longer than me, and therefore that they have a greater stake in the future of the planet.”
But for all his criticism of the group, he stopped short of condemning them, saying he could “not find it in his heart to do so”.
He revealed that the older he gets, the more concerned he becomes about the future of the planet.
“They are right to draw attention to the loss of habitat, and the extinction of species. They are also right to sound the alarm about all manner of man-made pollution, including CO2.”
But he added that the protesters would do better to “look to China”, adding that the UK is not the “prime culprit”
“Surely this is the time for the protesters to take their pink boat to Tiananmen Square, and lecture them in the way they have been lecturing us.”
Don’t want to speak too early, but that’s probably unlikely to happen given the group’s pink boat was towed away by the Metropolitan Police last week.
Extinction Rebellion (XR) say they are changing tack from disruption to political negotiation after a week of protests saw almost 1,000 demonstrators arrested, and 40 charged.