Extinction Rebellion co-founder admits driving diesel car

Dr Gail Bradbrook says she needs the polluting vehicle to take her children to sports fixtures

Extinction Rebellion co-founder Dr Gail Bradbrook is facing accusations of hypocrisy. Getty
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A co-founder of global environmental movement Extinction Rebellion has been outed as a diesel car driver, just as the group's latest round of protests brings central London to a standstill.

“I can't get my kids to sports fixtures, they are both into football and rugby, I do lots of lift sharing but I can't get them there because we don't have buses that run on a Sunday," Dr Gail Bradbrook told UK radio station Talk Radio.

She said she couldn't afford an electric car and that when she purchased her car, diesels were viewed as better for the environment than petrol alternatives.

The molecular biologist, 49, said the problem was "systemic" and advocated communal car sharing as a salve.

"Wouldn't it be great if some of us could put our cars into community ownership. Get them converted to electric," she said.

"So if anyone wants my car and they can pay for it to be converted to electric and other people can share it, they are very welcome."

Extinction Rebellion's latest London protests have sought to expose the relationship between government and financial institutions and funding for fossil fuels.

Two women were arrested on Monday for daubing the floor outside the HM Revenue & Customs building with “HMRC”, “Oil Death”, “Crisis” and “Barclays”.

Extinction Rebellion's divisive approach 'necessary'

Extinction Rebellion's direct and disruptive approach to forcing action on climate change has angered many.

Its methods were defended by group volunteer and City recruiter Jonathan Tassell.

"I think the disruption coming down the line is unimaginable and I run a city recruitment business," he told UK broadcaster GB News.

"I think it's necessary and I think we need to do what we can."

Of the charge of hypocrisy levelled at Dr Bradbrook, he said it was an inevitable part of being in the "system".

"I am in a house that is powered by gas and electricity. Can I afford to put solar on it? No, but we are all hypocrites. We need to all work together, we need to not personally blame, we need to all work together to find a solution,” he said.

It is not the first time Dr Bradbrook's actions have drawn scrutiny. In 2016 she flew 11,000 miles to Costa Rica for a holiday, which she told Talk Radio was for treatment of a health issue which couldn't be addressed in the UK.

Extinction Rebellion London protests - in pictures

Updated: August 25, 2021, 11:33 AM