Lib Dem leader admits he uses wasteful lightbulbs

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Indy Politics

Sir Menzies Campbell, the Liberal Democrat leader, dropped another gaffe yesterday when he warned that everyone had a personal responsibility to contribute to the fight against global warming, and then had to own up that he has not been practising what he preached.

Mr Campbell singled out changing the light bulbs that people use as an example of the sort of personal choice consumers should be making. But then he admitted up that every light fitting at his home in Scotland uses the standard filament bulb designed over a century ago, that emits 20 times as much heat as light. He promised that in future he will substitute energy-saving bulbs.

His admission came six weeks after the International Energy Agency drew the world's attention to the polluting effects of standard light bulbs, in a report highlighted in The Independent. Last month, the Government tried to push the issue on to the agenda of the G8 world summit in Russia.

Tony Blair has set an example by installing low-energy bulbs in No 10 Downing Street.

Sir Menzies told BBC Radio 1's Newsbeat programme: "We've all got responsibility, for example, to use public transport instead of using our motor cars, to use cars which are much more energy efficient which have less impact upon the environment even to use those light bulbs which are more energy efficient. Each of us by changing our own individual behaviour can make a contribution."

On being asked how many energy-saving light bulbs he used at home, Mr Campbell confessed: "I don't have any ... but I will be making sure when we replace them we replace them with energy-saving bulbs. But I tell you what I do, I make sure there's no unnecessary lights on in my house."