Arron Banks faces backlash over ‘vile’ yachting accident tweet about Greta Thunberg

'You’re wishing a potentially fatal accident onto a sixteen year old girl, why?' 

Emma Snaith
Thursday 15 August 2019 19:38
Comments
Environmental activist Greta Thunberg will set sail across the Atlantic Ocean

Arron Banks has been criticised after he sent a “vile” tweet about teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg as she set sail across the Atlantic to attend UN summits on global warming.

The billionaire Leave.EU founder warned the 16-year-old that “freak yachting accidents do happen in August” in response to a tweet by Green Party MP Caroline Lucas who praised Ms Thunberg for her “zero-carbon trip”.

Mr Banks later tweeted that his comment was a “joke” after it sparked outrage among MPs, celebrities and academics.

In reply to the Brexit backer’s response to her tweet, Ms Lucas wrote: Arron Banks’ vile tweet about @GretaThunberg makes me sick to the stomach. I have made a formal complaint to Twitter.

Labour MP David Lammy described the post as "nasty, wicked" and "evil".

"And terribly sad this man has bankrolled the peril facing our country," he added.

Sherlock actor Amanda Abbington tweeted: “You’re wishing a potentially fatal accident onto a sixteen year old girl, why..?”

Earlier, she wrote: 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. I also think you are incredibly cruel, vicious and ignorant.

Femi Oluwole, the co-founder of pro-EU campaign group Our Future Our Choice, tweeted: “Just the man who's been bankrolling Brexit and Nigel Farage since the start threatening to kill an autistic child...”

Professor Tanja Bueltmann, founder of campaign group EU Citizens’ Champion, wrote: I didn’t think Arron Banks could possibly sink any lower. He did.

Radio presenter Julia Hartley-Brewer was also among those criticising Mr Banks, and tweeted: “She's a child, Arron. FFS.”

However, she went on to criticise the teenage climate activist herself. Hi Greta, I’ve just booked some long haul flights for my family to enjoy some winter sun on the beach this Christmas. Level of guilt being felt: 0%," she wrote.

Ms Hartley-Brewer added: "St Greta is a political campaigner to be debated or she is a child to be ignored. Pick one."

Mr Banks later defended his post and, in response to a 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 ..."

Later, replying to a tweet accusing him of showing “his true colours”, he wrote: “It was a joke… you lefties have no sense of humour”.

Ms Thunberg is embarking on a two-week voyage across the Atlantic on a carbon-neutral racing yacht to attend UN climate summits in New York and Chile as she refuses to fly on planes.

The founder of the School Strike 4 Climate" movement said she is taking a year off school to raise awareness of the climate crisis and pressure world leaders to step up efforts to cut greenhouse emissions.

Ms Thunberg told the BBC that travelling by boat sends a signal that "the climate change crisis is a real thing".

The Malizia II yacht, which she is sailing on, is fitted with solar panels and underwater turbines to generate zero-carbon electricity on board.

The Swedish teenager will be joined by skipper Boris Herrmann; Pierre Casiraghi, the grandson of Monaco’s late Prince Rainier III and American actor Grace Kelly; as well as her father, Svante Thunberg.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in