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Thursday 24 August 2017

Corbyn attacks May's 'subservience' to Trump amid US climate accord snub

The Labour leader accused Mrs May of a dereliction of duty
The Labour leader accused Mrs May of a dereliction of duty
Donald Trump is pulling the US out of the Paris Accord on tackling climate change (Andrew Harnik/AP)

Jeremy Corbyn has accused Theresa May of "subservience" to US president Donald Trump by failing to join fellow European leaders in pledging to keep up the fight on climate change.

A decision by Mr Trump to pull the US out of the Paris Agreement - the world's first comprehensive deal on tackling climate change - and seek renegotiated terms that were "fair" to America has drawn widespread international condemnation.

A statement issued by the leaders of France, Germany and Italy said the deal cannot be renegotiated, they remain committed to the "irreversible" accord and regard it as "a cornerstone in the co-operation between our countries, for effectively and timely tackling climate change".

In a phone call with the US president shortly after his White House announcement, Mrs May expressed her "disappointment" at the move and stressed the UK remains committed to the landmark 2015 agreement to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

But she faced fierce criticism for failing to add her name to the joint statement by President Emmanuel Macron, Chancellor Angela Merkel and Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni.

Mr Corbyn labelled Mr Trump's move to withdraw from the Paris Agreement as "reckless and dangerous" and accused Mrs May of a failure of leadership in not signing up to the statement.

At an election campaign event in York, he said: "Given the chance to present a united front from our international partners she (Mrs May) has instead opted for silence and once again subservience to Donald Trump.

"It's a dereliction of both her duty to this country and our duty to our planet.

"This is not the type of leadership Britain needs either to negotiate Brexit or stand up to defend our planet in an era of climate change."

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron urged the Prime Minister to use whatever influence she has over the US president to urge him to reverse his decision.

"You have gone to Washington to hold Donald Trump's hand, now is the time to hold his feet to the fire," he said.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who described Mr Trump's move as "profoundly regrettable", said it was an "appalling abdication of leadership by the PM" not to join her French, German and Italian counterparts in signing the joint declaration.

Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas said Mrs May's "slow and timid" response to the US announcement was another sign of her weakness.

"Once again we're seeing a weak Prime Minister failing to stand up tall on the world stage in the face of near-criminal behaviour from one of our closest allies," she said.

Press Association

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