Labor MP to share stage with Nigel Farage at anti-climate action rally

A Labor MP is to share a stage with Nigel Farage at the launch of a campaign against action on climate change.

Graham Stringer, who also campaigned for Brexit with the former Ukip leader, is billed to appear at the launch of a campaign against reaching net zero.

He will appear alongside other right-wing talking heads and media personalities such as Reform UK leader Richard Tice and the broadcaster Julia Hartley-Brewer.

The MP for Blackley and Broughton has a history of climate denialism – in 2014 voting against accepting the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change conclusion that humans are the dominant cause of global warming.

He is also a trustee of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, the UK’s most prominent organization promoting climate change denialism.

The planned appearance has angered party activists, but it has so far received a relatively sedated response from Labour’s leadership.

Approached by The Independent, a Labor spokesperson refused to be drawn on whether Mr Stringer could face any sanction or lose the whip. In a statement, the spokesperson focused on Mr Farage’s views on the war in Ukraine:

“The Labor Party unequivocally condemns Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, and is unwavering in our support for the Ukrainian people, and we’ve been clear about our views on Labor MPs sharing platforms with those who don’t take that view,” the spokesperson said .

Climate activists in the Labor Party contrasted Keir Starmer’s response with the strict treatment of left-wing MPs last month for stepping out of line on Ukraine.

Aden Harris, a spokesperson for the Labor for a Green New Deal group said: “If there are two things which might define the Starmer leadership it’s failing to take climate change seriously and obsessively picking battles with the left of his own party.

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“He’s in real danger of displaying his commitment to both of these themes in one incident here: he’s taken heavy-handed action against left MPs who step one iota out of line, but is now silent on a Labor MP sharing a platform with far- right figures to espouse pro-apocalypse politics.

“In 2019 and 2021 the Labor Party backed motions calling for a Green New Deal, involving a mass expansion of renewable energy. It’s time Starmer reminded his own MPs of this policy, one which enjoys widespread support across the party and across the country.”

Mr Farage is using the event in Bolton next Saturday to launch a campaign for a referendum on the government’s net zero target.

Some right-wingers inside and outside the Conservative party, skeptical of state intervention, are increasingly agitating to scrap the net zero policy – ​​which scientists say is necessary to prevent global catastrophe.

Mr Farage and others argue that arguing averting climate change will increase bills, but the Committee on Climate Change has dismissed this arguments and says investment in green energy is in fact the best way to bring down bills – and that new fossil fuel drilling will not help .

Scientists say reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 at the latest is a requirement to prevent catastrophic climate change in the coming decades.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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