Climate activist Rupert Read made the faux-pas after describing the atmosphere of the Extinction Rebellion protest on Waterloo Bridge. He told LBC radio: “The atmosphere there is fantastic and loads of ordinary passers-by, loads of citizens supporting us. I then took a taxi to get to the meeting I’ve just been in now.
“And the driver was hugely supportive.”
Struggling not to giggle, LBC host Iain Dale said: “I hope it was an electric taxi, because otherwise why didn’t you use the tube?”
After a horrifyingly awkward pause, Mr Read blurted: “Well, because I was in a terrible rush.
“And I’m a human being like anybody else.”
Mr Dale shot back: “Well, don’t you think that’s slightly hypocritical?”
Shockingly, his guest retorted: “No, I don’t Iain.”
Chuckling, a vindicated Mr Dale replied “I think everybody listening to this interview will.”
The veteran radio host had already made his views on the protests, which have blocked much of central London over the last three days, unequivocal.
He raged: “Let us actually address the argument rather than conduct these ridiculous stunts that are so pathetic I cannot understand why you think they’ll get anybody on your side.
“I can’t imagine many ordinary Labour voters are going to think ‘oh yeah, they’ve chained themselves to Jeremy Corbyn’s house, yeah we’ll support them.
“You know as well as I do that it is not possible to reduce our carbon to zero by 2025.”
Mr Read replied: “We’re sorry we’re having to take these quite strong measures – we’re sorry it has come to this. But it has come to this.”
Extinction Rebellion co-founder Dr Gail Bradbrook has warned the group’s tactics will escalate if its demands “are not met”.
The group has had “very heated discussions about what’s for the best” in terms of its methods, she said.
She told the Press Association: “It’s certainly an option that tactics will be escalated if our demands are not met.”
Asked about whether key sites like Waterloo Bridge will remain held for two weeks as planned, she said: “It’s in the hands of the gods really, isn’t it? It’s up to whether people respond to the call to come onto the streets.
“More people are joining us all the time. We’re having a fantastic time here. It’s how life is meant to be lived with people coming together and actually exerting their political power.”