Ten Labour MPs vowed to promote policies for Extinction Rebellion eco-fanatics
Ten Labour MPs including five frontbenchers have vowed to promote the policies of , it emerged last night. They signed a pledge of allegiance with the eco-activist group, including promising to support and vote for legislation to make the UK net zero by 2025. It is feared this would destroy swathes of British industry, cost millions of jobs and even cause the lights to go out. The pact was signed ahead of the 2019 election, a year after Extinction Rebellion launched its campaign of direct action by blocking bridges and roads. Remarks that year from Labour's climate change chief, Ed Miliband, have also emerged in which he praised XR for its 'exciting' activism and called for it to be 'sustained' and 'deepened'. He also hailed the 'fantastic success' of the chaos it had caused. Energy Secretary Grant Shapps said it showed that eco-fanatics would 'be in charge' under a Labour government. The party has also taken 1.5million in donations from Just Stop Oil backer and businessman Dale Vince. Just Stop Oil is an offshoot of XR. Questions have been raised about whether the cash, given via Mr Vince's firm Ecotricity, have shaped Labour leader Keir Starmer's vow to block new North Sea oil and gas exploration. Mr Shapps said: 'The more scrutiny Labour comes under, the more it's clear that people can't trust them. 'If you throw enough orange paint around, Keir Starmer will do whatever you want. Unlike Labour, I don't represent Extinction Rebellion or Just Stop Oil. I represent the people who elected us to deliver on their priorities.' Forty Labour candidates at the 2019 election signed a pledge to promote XR's three main demands by pushing for legislation that includes them. Of these, ten are now MPs and five are shadow ministers on Sir Keir's front bench. One of the demands was for 'a climate and ecological emergency' to be declared. Another said: 'Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and halt greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.' Those who signed were Rosie Duffield, Liam Byrne, Kevin Brennan, Stella Creasy, Yvonne Fovargue, Tulip Siddiq, Andrew Slaughter, Alex Sobel, Anna McMorrin and Kerry McCarthy. The latter five are frontbenchers, with briefs including the economy and climate change. The video of Mr Miliband at a university debate in October 2019 shows him saying: 'Why has Extinction Rebellion and the people's climate strikes worked? They have shifted the sense of what is possible. That has moved the debate. That's a fantastic success.' Labour said: 'The modern Labour Party doesn't bow to fringe lobbies or extremists everything we do is firmly focused on providing security and opportunity for hard working Britons.'