Politicians and members of the public have reacted negatively to claims there is no climate emergency.

Craig Morley, the Conservative Party’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Reading East, hit out at Reading Borough Council (RBC) last week for declaring a climate emergency.

He said the climate is changing but there is no consensus on what will happen in future, or what the impacts will be.

Mr Morley’s claims have drawn the ire of politicians in his constituency as well as members of the public.

Matt Rodda, who is Reading East’s sitting MP, said: “I’m deeply disappointed that the Conservative candidate for Reading East does not seem to realise the scale of the climate crisis.

“I would hope that all political parties will support urgent and sustained action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“The evidence is absolutely clear and we need to take urgent action to stop using fossil fuels, and take other steps such as eating less meat, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture.

“I also want to thank young people, other campaigners and RBC for their important work raising awareness of the climate emergency.”

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RBC declared a climate emergency in February following pressure from Extinction Rebellion.

Members of the public have hit out at Mr Morley’s claims.

Duncan Bruce: “So sad that in 2019 any candidate for a major political party, especially the party of government, can have such a narrow opinion.

“More and more we seem to be going backwards politically.”

The claims have also been criticised by councillors in Reading and Wokingham.

Councillor Tony Page, lead member for Strategic Environment at RBC, said: “Unlike Donald Trump and large swathes of America, most people in Britain realise that there is a climate emergency. “

Wokingham Councillor Andy Croy has written a letter to John Halsall, leader of the council, and Gregor Murray, lead for the climate emergency, asking them to explain “how damaging Mr Morley’s views are to the borough”.

Reading East includes Cllr Croy’s ward Bulmershe & Whitegates as well as South Lake and Loddon.

Mr Morley told the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS): “We do not need knee jerk doom mongering, scaring people into thinking the world is going to end. It is not.

“We need to take action but what is happening is the left are using the premise of a so-called climate emergency to force their failed economic policies because they have lost the argument.

“Extinction Rebellion is calling for, among other things, the immediate cessation of morning fossil fuels, reparations (possibly billions of pounds) paid to less developed countries for our burning of fossil fuels, no market mechanisms or technology to be used to cut emissions, and an end to nuclear power.

“This is utopian authoritarianism. They believe the only way to save the planet is for the left to command others in the developed and less developed world to live poorer and meaner lives.

“We should be focusing and investing in finding technological solutions, such as the fantastic work of the Atomic Energy Authority at Culham, working on nuclear fusion, and Carbon Capture and Storage.