Arron Banks criticised for ‘sick joke’ about Greta Thunberg
PUBLISHED: 08:22 15 August 2019 | UPDATED: 08:42 15 August 2019
Millionaire Brexiteer Arron Banks Arron Banks has come under fire for a tweet about 16-year-old climate change activist Greta Thunberg.
Become a Supporter
Almost four years after its creation The New European goes from strength to strength across print and online, offering a pro-European perspective on Brexit and reporting on the political response to the coronavirus outbreak, climate change and international politics. But we can only continue to grow with your support.
The Leave.EU founder and pro-Brexit donor responded to a post by Green Party MP Caroline Lucas about Greta's voyage across the Atlantic on a racing yacht, writing: "Freak yachting accidents do happen in August ..."
He later tweeted that it was a "joke" after his comment sparked outrage from social media users that branded it "sick".
Among those to criticise his post was actress Amanda Abbington, who tweeted: "You're wishing a potentially fatal accident onto a sixteen year old girl, why..?"
She had earlier written: "If you are a grown up, fully-fledged adult and you are mocking this young girl for trying to save the planet then I genuinely feel sorry for you."
One Twitter user responded to Mr Banks' post by saying: "You know she's 16, right?" while another described his comment as "despicable".
Even Brexiteer broadcaster Julia Hartley-Brewer joined in the denouncement by pointing out to him: "She's a child, Arron, FFS."
Banks later defended his post and, in response to another tweet which highlighted the fact Greta was a child, he said: "Quite and one being used. Obviously I don't hope she encounters a freak yachting accident! I just enjoy watching the ludicrous tweeter mob following the next outrage ..."
He also replied to someone accusing him of showing "his true colours", saying: "It was a joke .. you lefties have no sense of humour ..."
Greta is embarking on a two-week voyage across the Atlantic on a carbon-neutral racing yacht, the Malizia II, so she can attend high-profile climate events without using planes or cruise ships which emit greenhouse gas emissions.
The Swedish teenager's "school strikes" have inspired a global protest movement by young people demanding urgent action on climate change.
Become a Supporter
Almost four years after its creation The New European goes from strength to strength across print and online, offering a pro-European perspective on Brexit and reporting on the political response to the coronavirus outbreak, climate change and international politics. But we can only rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press with your support. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.Become a supporter