Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas upset Democratic Unionist Party MPs in the Commons by calling them ‘dinosaurs’.
The Brighton Pavilion MP challenged Theresa May on the absence of environmental policies in her first Queen’s Speech and asked if the Prime Minister had been influenced by her new potential governing allies.
“It’s good to see her facing the other parties and that she has actually turned up - which was not always the case in the election campaign,” Lucas said.
“The gracious speech contained eight Brexit bills, but not one single one of those covered the environment.
“Is her failure to propose a Brexit bill on the greatest challenge that we face because she simply doesn’t care about the environment and climate change, or because she’s been influenced by the DUP dinosaurs who sit beside me and don’t want to take that kind of leadership in the future?”
DUP members raised their objections to the remarks with speaker John Bercow, who said it was ‘not unparliamentary but a matter of taste’.
Lucas later apologised for ‘any offence caused to prehistoric creatures’.
Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK with no legally binding climate change targets in place and last year, then-environment minister Michelle McIlveen quashed efforts to introduce a Climate Change Act.
The party has also drawn criticism for failing to mention climate change, global warming or the environment in its 2017 manifesto.
The Green Party has described the government’s failure to include an environment bill among its initial Brexit legislation as ‘a real betrayal’.