Video has emerged appearing to show the moment environment minister Zac Goldsmith tried to dodge an 11-year-old girl’s questions.
Licypriya Kangujam was less than happy with Lord Goldsmith’s reaction when she confronted him at the COP27 summit in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.
She tracked down Lord Goldsmith to question him on camera, asking: ‘When are you going to release the climate activists your government arrested for protesting against new oil and gas licences?’
He then started walking away but Licypriya followed him.
The conversation was not loud enough to be recorded, but Licypriya said he told her he ‘can do nothing about it’ before running away.
During the discussion, she said a civil servant pushed her away twice and intervened to stop the discussion.
She said: ‘If he can do nothing then why he is a minister? Why he’s coming to COP27? This is unacceptable. This is not fair.’
Lord Goldsmith has now called Extinction Rebellion ‘bullies’ after the group demanded to know about the identity of the civil servant.
The group tweeted their thanks to Licypriya ‘for speaking up for those in prison in the UK’.
‘What bullies you are,’ Lord Goldsmith said.
‘She did nothing of the sort as the video shows. She couldn’t have been gentler.
‘But I’ll tell you what she does do: works relentlessly – at a fraction [of] what she’d earn elsewhere – fighting to protect nature, and she succeeds. You should thank her and then apologise.
‘”Anyone know who she is?” Makes me so angry this. She’s a civil servant who can’t answer back, who works her arse off for the [environment] and has helped achieve amazing things.
‘If we turn things around it will be because of people like her… the person you are seeking to bully. Just awful.’
Meanwhile during the conference, prime minister Rishi Sunak pledged a commitment of £200 million to protect forests and invest in green technologies.
But he faced criticism for issuing more oil and gas licences in the North Sea.
Lord Goldsmith has been approached for comment by Metro.co.uk.
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