Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle says Australia's wildfires should act as a 'wake-up call"

Australia's wildfires crisis should act as a "wake-up call for the world", according to the Commons Speaker.

Tuesday, 7th January 2020, 5:00 pm

Sir Lindsay Hoyle expressed the House's "deepest sympathies" with the people of Australia and sent a "message of solidarity" to their colleagues in the Australian parliament.

He said: "We pay tribute to the firefighters and all those who are putting their lives at risk."

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Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle

"This is a wake-up call for the world.

"All Australians are in our thoughts and prayers."

The fires have been fuelled by drought and the country's hottest and driest year on record.

They have killed 25 people and there are also claims that nearly 500 million birds, reptiles and mammals have died in the blazes.

Labour leadership hopeful Clive Lewis, a shadow Treasury minister, said there was an "appalling lack of" climate crisis policies developed by the UK Government.

Mr Lewis told the Commons: "So as Australia burns, as millions in African states face climate-driven famine, and floods have swept the north of England, will this Government give a damn about this existential threat and act, not posture?"

Treasury minister Simon Clarke labelled the question a "rather ungracious recognition" of the Government's work in this area.