Speaker calls for ‘green’ Covid restrictions
COMMONS Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle has come under fire for suggesting coronavirusstyle restrictions could be introduced to save the environment.
Sir Lindsay, 63, said similar controls on daily life could command public support if brought in to tackle climate change. He told counterparts from some of the world’s most powerful countries – including Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the US House of Representatives – that the pandemic shows people are prepared to accept limitations on their lifestyles – if they recognise it is for the greater good. Sir Lindsay said he was surprised by the willingness of millions of people to wear masks and accept new rules. He added that the urgent response the world has shown to deal with Covid-19 should now be harnessed to address climate change.
At the G7 Speakers’ Meeting, Sir Lindsay said: “If one lesson from the pandemic is that taking serious action in a timely manner is key – then shouldn’t this also be true in terms of climate change?
“No-one could ever imagine that we would be wearing masks so readily and that we would all be so compliant. Perhaps we ought not to underestimate the ability of people and communities to work together for the common good, if there is united and clear leadership.”
But his comments have been condemned by Sir Desmond Swayne, Tory MP for New
Forest West and a former international development minister.
He said: “My immediate reaction is, dream on. I think people have had quite enough. Indeed, we are getting to the limit of what people will endure.”
Sir Desmond added that his postbag and email inbox are full of messages from people who “can’t bear it any longer”.