Jeremy Corbyn saw a Labour conference fringe event on the climate emergency disrupted by his brother Piers, who protested by shouting and handing out climate science-denying leaflets.
The former Labour leader appeared on a panel at the radical-left World Transformed fringe festival at the conference, where he spoke in favour of nationalising energy companies and tackling the climate emergency with a green industrial revolution.
As Keir Starmer confirmed that he was retreating from Labour’s commitment to nationalising energy, Corbyn called for collective global action on the climate emergency and “public ownership of energy, of water and all the other transport industries, with public investment” that must “end the domination of private greed that has done so much damage to our country, our environment and our planet”.
He also attacked Starmer for trying to push “unnecessary, undemocratic … rules changes” through the conference in Brighton.
Piers Corbyn stood up wearing a “Resist! Defy! Don’t comply!” anti-lockdown T-shirt, and a fellow protester became agitated when the panel’s moderator asked for a second round of questions only from women and people of colour.
When the fellow protester was removed from the tent, Piers Corbyn began shouting and refused requests to leave. He was booed by many of the hundreds of people in the tent who had turned out to listen to his brother.
Throughout the episode, the former Labour leader remained calm and did not comment publicly on the protesters’ antics.
After the event, Piers Corbyn gave out leaflets claiming “Man-made climate change does not exist” and urging the government to “stop jabbing children”.
He said he “doesn’t care” what Jeremy made of his protests and claimed his brother had been “captured by the trade unions”, adding: “I have supported him since he was 15 – no, actually, since he was nought.”