BY SAM WALKER
A flagship BBC political panel show came to a boys’ school on Thursday.
Question Time, hosted by Fiona Bruce, was held at Langley Park School for boys in South Eden Park Road, Beckenham and focused on the Extinction Rebellion protests, banning eating on public transport and Brexit.
Some of the panelists included Julia Hartley-Brewer, businessman Theo Paphitis, and Extinction Rebellion spokesman Rupert Read.
The protests in central London have already seen more than 1,000 people arrested, with protestors even gluing themselves to planes and buildings in a bid to disrupt transport.
Mr Read, who is also an academic and Green Party campaigner, said: “If there are better methods, honestly, I’m all ears.
“In April, we had the first glimmer of starting to change.
“It’s because of those people who’ve been arrested that I have the privilege of being here on this panel this evening at all.
“I tried for 20 years in the old methods, and it doesn’t work.”
His impassioned speech comes after protests in April helped to provoke the Government into legislating for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
He said: “Here is my message this evening. We’re changing up in terms of our methods, and we’re changing up with the message.
“This is about us now, this is about the vulnerability of our food supply, this is not even about our children or our grandchildren anymore, this is about the intense vulnerability of our whole society to this catastrophe that is already descending on us.
“That’s why we need to be out there until that message gets through.”
His comments provoked a series of reactions from the audience and the panel, with former Millwall FC chairman and Dragon’s Den judge Mr Paphitis calling Mr Read “deluded”.
Mrs Hartley-Brewer at one stage even interjected: “This is absolute nonsense.
“This is the stuff that’s been predicted, this sort of nihilistic, the world is going to end stuff.”
Other questions later on in the show focused on Brexit and Boris Johnson’s talks with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar last week in which he said a new Brexit agreement was possible, and Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies’ final report this week which said eating should be banned on public transport.
She implored politicians to be bold and do more to prevent the increase in child obesity, which has doubled in the past 30 years.