The resignation of Zac Goldsmith, prompted by the Government’s supposed “apathy” on environmental issues, should teach Rishi Sunak a salient lesson.
The Tory peer quit his role as a Foreign Office minister, claiming the U.K. had “stepped off the world stage” on climate and nature, adding: “Too often we are simply absent from key international fora.” Because that’s exactly what the world needs right now – VIPs flocking by private jet to more fora on flora and fauna.
As one of Boris Johnson’s closest allies, there was undoubtedly more to his dramatic sayonara than green concerns. You do not need to be Poirot to work out the hidden meaning in his suggestion that “having been able to get so much done previously, I have struggled to even hold the line in recent months. The problem is not that the Government is hostile to the environment, it is that you, our Prime Minister, are simply uninterested”.
It is no secret that Johnson and his supporters despise Sunak and will do everything in their power to undermine him between now and the next general election after ‘Big Dog’ was forced out of the Commons kennel over partygate. But what Goldsmith’s resignation letter proves is that there is no pleasing the environmental extremists of this world – or any extremist, for that matter.