Environment secretary Michael Gove’s own daughter is among thousands of UK children set to skip school on Friday in a global protest about the effects of climate change, his wife has revealed.
The students want the government to declare a “state of climate emergency”, calling on ministers to also improve education in schools about global warming.
But writing in her column for the Daily Mail, Sarah Vine poured scorn on the strike, saying like “99.9%” of those taking part, her daughter saw it as an opportunity to bunk off.
“They see it less as a political protest than as an excellent opportunity to get out of doing any work,” Vine said of her daughter and her schoolfriends.
“I did point out that since her father is the actual Environment Secretary, she could theoretically petition him directly,” she continued.
“‘That’s all right,’ she said. ‘I’d rather go to the park.’”
Students from 40 cities and towns in the UK – including London, Bristol, Cornwall and the Highlands – are set to join those in the US, Australia, the Netherlands and Uganda for the strike.
It was inspired by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, who stopped going to school on Fridays in order to protest carbon emissions outside of parliament.
The 16-year-old told her fellow students: “You don’t have to school strike, it’s your own choice.
“But why should we be studying for a future that soon may be no more? This is more important than school, I think.”