A government extremism adviser has admitted during a private meeting that it is wrong to label Extinction Rebellion (XR) supporters as “extreme”, despite the home secretary, Priti Patel, condemning the group as “criminals” who threaten the nation’s way of life. John Woodcock, the former Labour MP who was asked by the Home Office this year to examine disruption and violence by extreme political groups, sought to reassure XR activists that he did not regard the movement as uniformly extreme during a Zoom video conference call last month. “You’re worried that I want to label everyone who supports XR as extremists and that is certainly not the case,” he said. Woodcock, who now sits in the upper chamber as Lord Walney, also accepted he needed to know more about climate science and agreed there was a need for urgent action to address the climate crisis.
Observer 21st Aug 2021 read more »