He quit the government in June, saying he was ‘horrified’ at Sunak for having ditched promises to protect the environment.
Tory peer and former minister Zac Goldsmith says he is very tempted to support Labour at the next election, given his concerns on climate change.
Goldsmith, a key ally of Boris Johnson, says his party ‘doesn’t have a clear answer’ on the ‘biggest challenge we’ve ever faced’.
He quit the government in June, saying he was ‘horrified’ at Sunak for having ditched promises to protect the environment. He launched a blistering attack on the Prime Minister, accusing him of having ‘withdrawn our leadership on climate and nature’.
Goldsmith now says that he is very tempted to back Labour at the next election, however, he wants to hear more about what the party will do to protect the ‘natural environment’, which he said was a ‘blind spot’ when it comes to their climate policies.
He told the BBC’s HardTalk programme: “My concern about the Labour Party at the moment – and I don’t say this as a tribal politician because I am not a tribal politician – is, I think, there is a blind spot on the natural environment.
“When the Labour Party thinks environment, when it talks about the environment, it is thinking carbon, taxation and regulation, and all the things that go with that.
“The simple truth is that there is no pathway to net zero, there is no solution to climate change, that does not involve nature.
“At the moment, I’m not hearing any of that from the Labour Party.
“If I do, if there’s a real commitment now, the kind of commitment, frankly, that we saw when Boris Johnson was the leader, then I’d be very tempted to throw my weight behind that party and support them in any way I could.”
Goldsmith’s comments come after Sunak approved 100 new oil and gas drilling licences in the North Sea, leading to criticism from environmental groups as well as opposition politicians.
Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward