Boost for Michael Gove as Extinction Rebellion brand meeting 'mildly less shit than expected'

Written by John Johnston on 30 April 2019 in Diary

Michael Gove has recieved mixed reviews after his meeting with Extinction Rebellion.

The radical climate group secured a face-to-face with the Enviroment Secretary and a bevy of senior government officials this afternoon - but relations remain frosty.

The street protestors had hoped to get a firm commitment from Mr Gove to declare a climate and ecologicial emergency as well as agree to cross-party talks with youth activists, but were left disappointed when he failed to accept their demands.

But Mr Gove's understanding of the issue was awarded begruding praise by one of the group's representatives, Clare Farrell, who said of the meeting: "It was less shit than I thought it would be, but only mildly.

"I was surprised to hear a radical reflection on our economic paradigm from Michael Gove when he talked about how our model is extractive and destructive - and that we need to move to a circular model. And that similarly a debt based economy doesn't do right by young people, that it is creating a huge debt for them and that it has to change."

However, the Tory heavyweight's spin failed to win over one 14-year-old school student who attended the meeting.

"I'm frustrated that he avoided our demands and just spoke about what they're already doing," Felix Ottaway O'Mahony said.

"Until our demands are met the rebellion has to continue."

Another accused him of committing a "moral and political failure" by refusing to sound the alarm over climate change.

But the group managed to crowbar a concession from Mr Gove, as he agreed to reach out to London Mayor Sadiq Khan to discuss the prospect of setting up a citizen's assembly to help tackle climate change - one of the group's key demands.

The session ended with an agreement to meet again in a month, but the group say their street activism - which has brought London to a standstill in recent weeks - would continue regardless

Fellow member Sam Knights said they welcomed the steps agreed with Mr Gove.

"Theresa May has so far refused to participate in cross-party discussion on climate breakdown, so it is really significant that Michael Gove today agreed to reach out to Sadiq Khan and cooperate on this issue. He also agreed to meet again within a month so that we can hold him to account and continue exerting pressure on our political class."

Given the Tories plummeting poll numbers and a widely anticipated drubbing in the local and EU elections, 'mildly less shit' can probably be chalked up as a win.

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