John Prescott: Climate Change Would Not Be In Public Debate If It Weren't For Protests

20 April 2019, 09:07

The former Labour deputy Prime Minister has told LBC he supports the Extinction Rebellion protests for bringing climate change to wider debate, but admits some parts went too far.

John Prescott said that if it wasn't for the coordinated demonstrations by Extinction Rebellion the public would not be discussing climate change.

Speaking to Andrew Pierce, the former deputy Prime Minister said that it was "tragic" it took a protest to get the conversation started, but added they "can't do it on their own".

Mr Prescott said: "The press would not have been recording the issue of climate change without this protest.

"It's tragic that's the way we've got to go, but we want a proper national debate about the issue and demonstrations can't do it on their own."

But he said protests had gone too far when they disrupted service to public transport.

"That's not the way to bring about hearts and minds," he said.

Police officers removed a pink boat from Oxford Circus during Extinction Rebellion protests
Police officers removed a pink boat from Oxford Circus during Extinction Rebellion protests. Picture: Getty

His comments come as police arrest more than 680 protesters since demonstrations began on Monday.

Large groups have blocked Waterloo Bridge, Oxford Circus, Marble Arch and Parliament Square as part of the disruption, with smaller groups targeting Heathrow Airport, Jeremy Corbyn's house and DLR services in Canary Wharf.

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