Lord Goldsmith has resigned as Foreign Office minister, accusing Rishi Sunak of “simply not being interested” in climate change.
Lord Goldsmith, who served as Minister of State for Overseas, Commonwealth, Energy, Climate and Environment Territories at the Foreign Office, had been named yesterday as one of Boris Johnson’s allies sanctioned for criticizing the committee’s report. of privileges.
In his resignation letter he said: “The problem is not that the government is hostile to the environment, it is that you, our Prime Minister, are simply not interested. That signal, or lack thereof, has filtered through Whitehall and caused a kind of paralysis.”
“I will never understand how, with all the knowledge we now have about our fundamental dependence on the natural world and the speed with which we are destroying it, someone could not be interested,” he adds.
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Yesterday Lord Goldsmith was one of several Conservative MPs and colleagues, including former cabinet ministers Nadine Dorries and Jacob Rees-Mogg, criticized by the privileges committee in a special report.
The committee highlighted a tweet that Lord Goldsmith retweeted on June 9 regarding the work of the privileges committee. The tweet in question read: “Exactly this. There was only going to be one outcome and the evidence was totally irrelevant.”
Overall, the report highlighted “unprecedented and coordinated pressure” on committee members that had a “significant personal impact on individual members and raised significant security concerns.”
The report further stated: “An attack on the House’s procedures and on the impartial officials and advisers who support those processes is an attack on the legitimacy of Parliament itself.”
T from workhangam Debbonaire, the leader of the shadow commons, explained yesterday: “Rishi Sunak has allowed high-ranking members of his own party to undermine and attack Britain’s democratic institutions. This includes one sitting government minister and two former cabinet ministers.
“It is yet another example of the prime minister’s weakness and his inability to hold his own ministers to high standards that Zac Goldsmith remains a government minister.”
In his resignation letter this morning, Lord Goldsmith said: “But even if this existential challenge leaves you personally unmoved, there is a world of people who care very much. And you will need their votes. Every poll and poll, without exception, tells us that people care deeply about the natural world, about the well-being of other species, about handing this world better to the next generation.
“And as these issues inevitably grow in importance, so will the gap between the British people and a Conservative Party struggling to respond adequately.”
Lord Goldsmith said he would “always be grateful” to be in a position to influence environmental action and was proud that in recent years the UK has played a “critical, indeed defining role, leading powerful coalitions of ambition and secure world-changing commitments on a wide range of environmental issues.”
He added that it has been “a privilege to be able to work with so many talented people in government.”
Liberal Democrat Treasury spokeswoman Sarah Olney, who twice defeated Zac Goldsmith in the commons election, responded to the news by saying: “Rishi Sunak should have had the guts to fire Zac Goldsmith yesterday when he was brutally criticized by the partygate watchdog. Sunak is clearly too weak to control his own party.
“His resignation has at least confirmed what we’ve known all along, that the Rishi Sunak government doesn’t give a damn about the environment and animal rights.”