Huw Edwards told Lord Austin to ‘let it rest’ in a Twitter spat after he taunted the BBC for ‘exaggerated weather’.
The veteran broadcaster took to Twitter to tell the former Labor MP that viewers of News at Ten are “much more exercised by climate change and the extreme temperatures” than Monday night’s Tory leadership race.
Lord Austin wrote: BBC News at 10 a.m. is exaggerating again. The first 23 minutes were spent on the heat before moving on to the trivial and unimportant question of who would ultimately run the country!’
Edwards joked back, “Oh, let it rest. They still have 4 candidates and we are 7 weeks away from a result. Meanwhile, viewers tell us that they are WAY more exercised by climate change and the extreme weather events. Go figure.’
It comes as temperatures hit an unprecedented 40.2C (104.4F) at London Heathrow Airport this afternoon at 12:50pm, causing severe bushfires to break out across southern England today.
Huw Edwards told Lord Austin to ‘let it rest’ in a Twitter spat after taunting the BBC for ‘overdoing it again’
The veteran broadcaster took to Twitter to tell Lord Austin that News at Ten viewers are “much more exercised by climate change and the extreme temperatures” than the Tory leadership race
Lord Austin replied, ‘Go on. I didn’t say it wasn’t a big story or that it shouldn’t be in the news. And I didn’t wonder if climate change is a serious problem.
“I was just cautiously wondering if it might be a bit of an exaggeration to spend 23 minutes on a bulletin of less than half an hour.
“What’s interesting about this, though, is how the BBC (an institution I’ve championed in Parliament countless times) responds to even the slightest criticism or question.”
Edwards added: ”I was wondering carefully,’ huh? Well, as ‘before we got to the trivial and unimportant question of who could run the country!’ softly wondering, I begin to wonder how you could use condescending sarcasm. Sir.’
What’s interesting about this, though, is how the BBC (an institution I’ve championed in Parliament countless times) responds to even the slightest criticism or question.
Meanwhile, firefighters have described the fires that swept through homes and buildings in London as ‘absolute hell’ – with residents being evacuated after at least five houses were destroyed, two people taken to hospital for smoke inhalation and 1,600 calls for help.
Elsewhere in the country, hundreds of firefighters are battling raging infernos in Wales, Scotland and the rest of England as dry conditions in the UK caused ‘tinderbox’ bushfires that threatened homes, animals and people.
A massive grass fire broke out in Wennington, East London this afternoon and appeared to have destroyed this house (center)
A fire burns the Walnut Tree area of Milton Keynes today as fires grip areas across England
Fire services in London, Hertfordshire and Leicestershire reported major incidents as they were affected by tens of thousands of calls meaning automatic fire alarms will not trigger a response and people are asked not to call unless it is an emergency.
At least 34 parts of the country broke the UK’s previous national record of 38.7C today, the Met Office said with the new national record of Coningsby, Lincolnshire, reaching an unprecedented 40.3C (104.54), while London Heathrow also saw highs of 40.2C. (104.4F).
Scotland also recorded its hottest day on record as temperatures soared to 34.8C (94.64) in Charterhall and Wales could beat his new record of 37.1C in Hawarden, Flintshire, yesterday.
The extreme heat has been caused by a plume of hot air from North Africa and the Sahara and a subtropical pressure system from the Azores creeping further north than usual – a result of climate change, experts say.
A row of houses are on fire this afternoon in the East London village of Wennington as temperatures rise again today
About 100 firefighters fight fire in Wennington village this afternoon as heatwave continues
Forecasters said an absolute maximum of 43C (109F) could be possible later – and England’s highs today equal the hottest spots anywhere in Europe. The UK is also hotter than Jamaica, the Maldives and Barbados.
The “extreme heat” also left nearly 15,000 homes in the Northeast without power at about 2 p.m. as electrical equipment overheated during the record temperatures.
Roads have also been closed as fires broke out on major motorways including the M25 and M1 today due to bushfires and vehicle fires.
About 100 firefighters are fighting a blaze in the east London village of Wennington today as the heatwave continues
Charlwood, Surrey, beat the previous UK high of 38.7°C (101.7F) in July 2019 at Cambridge. In third place is 38.5C (101.3F) in Kent in August 2003 and 38.1°C in Suffolk yesterday is fourth.
Elsewhere in England, the mercury had risen to 39.9C (103.8F) in Charlwood by lunchtime this afternoon, 39.6C (103.3F) in Kew Gardens in west London, 39.3C (102.7F) in Wisley in Surrey and 39.2C (102.6F) at both Chertsey in Surrey and Northolt in west London – with all of these readings also surpassing the UK’s all-time high of 2019.
The UK is also warned that these temperatures could soon become the ‘new normal’ as Britain begins to see bushfires, extreme heat and pressure on water supplies that have long plagued Europe.