‘You look weaselly!’ BBC reporter launches ferocious personal attack on PM over coal mine

Boris Johnson gets told he ‘looks weaselly’ during BBC interview

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The BBC’s Climate editor Justin Rowlatt lost it at Prime Minister Boris Johnson for appearing to be hypocritical in calling on developing nations like China and India to scrap coal in energy production, despite not condemning plans for a brand new coal mine in Whitehaven, Cumbria.

The BBC climate editor slammed: “You’re going to China, you’re going to India, you’re going to the developing world saying phase out coal…

“At the same time as not ruling out a new coal mine in Britain! A new coal mine in Britain!

“We started the industrial revolution, we should close the mines!”

But a furious Boris Johnson slammed back at the accusations from Mr Rowlatt, saying: “I have just given you the statistics before you had a go at me!”

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The reporter hammered: “Why don’t you just say you’re not going to open the mine! Why don’t we be clear on the coal mine!”

The BBC climate editor went on to suggest how the Chinese, on seeing plans or a new coal mine, would simply hit back at the Prime Minister’s demands saying “we can’t take this guy seriously”.

He slammed how Mr Johnson’s decision not to confront the issue of the coal mine directly as “a little bit weaselly” in front of the major coal users COP26 are calling on to phase out coal usage to combat climate change.

But Mr Johnson was defiant saying that it is “incontrovertible” the progress the UK has “already made” as he continued to deflect the question of the mine’s hypocrisy in the face of COP26 demands.

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But in an eye-opening revelation, he added how while he himself is “not in favour of more coal” or the construction of the site, he stressed the Cumbria mine plans are “not a decision for me, it is a decision for the planning authorities.”

Plans for a new coal mine, which would be managed by West Cumbria Mining would see 2.7m tonnes of metallurgical coal extracted from a site in Whitehaven.

Supporters of the project argue it will allow Britain to be competitive as it would go towards producing steel for major infrastructure projects and employ local people.

But campaigners argue this type of coal would not be suitable for domestic steel production despite the company claiming it is suitable.

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Opponents to the plans have accused the Government of a lack of joined-up thinking, saying the coal mine is counterproductive amid the big promises the Government are making on the environment.

It comes as the Government’s climate advisory Climate Change Committee also worries that allowing this mine to open would cause more problems. They argue in order to meet its carbon-cutting timetable, steel firms must stop burning coal by 2035 – unless they fit expensive technology to capture emissions and bury them underground.

The committee points out that 85 percent of the Cumbrian coal will be exported anyway, and every extra tonne of coal on the world market will tend to drive down the cost and drive up emissions.

Despite this, supporters of the mine say regardless of the arguments for more environmentally friendly ways of producing steel, coal will still be needed for steel production after the climate committee’s 2035 deadline.

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