Boris Johnson: clearly insane to use disposable BBQ on dry grass

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General view of equipment in a fire engine (Rui Vieira/PA) (PA Archive)
General view of equipment in a fire engine (Rui Vieira/PA) (PA Archive)

Boris Johnson said it is “clearly insane to take a disposable barbeque onto dry grass” following a call for the items to be banned.

Conservative former minister Caroline Nokes asked at Prime Minister’s Questions if the Prime Minister would take action to avoid fires by getting rid of disposable barbeques and Chinese sky lanterns.

The exchange followed another Tory MP’s call for a ban on flying lanterns during an earlier session of Cop26 questions in the House.

Conservative MP Harriett Baldwin described how in a “tinder-dry” landscape they act as “unguided flamethrowers”.

The requests to ban disposable barbeques and sky lanterns follows temperatures going above 40C for the first time ever in the UK on Tuesday, which saw major fire incidents declared in London, Norfolk, Suffolk, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire and South Yorkshire.

A sky lantern at Glastonbury Festival (Ben Birchall/PA) (PA Archive)
A sky lantern at Glastonbury Festival (Ben Birchall/PA) (PA Archive)

Ms Nokes, the MP for Romsey and Southampton North, said: “My right honourable friend (Mr Johnson) rightly paid tribute to our hardworking firefighters dealing with the fires over the last few days in this unprecedented weather.

“Will my right honourable friend take action to make sure more fires can be prevented by getting rid of disposable barbeques and Chinese sky lanterns?”

The Prime Minister said: “I think the key thing is for people to behave responsibly first with the use of these things.

“It’s clearly insane to take a disposable barbeque onto dry grass.”

Ms Baldwin, MP for West Worcestershire, speaking during Cop26 questions, asked Cop26 President Alok Sharma to “make it his objective to ban the sale of Chinese lanterns across the UK”.

“Across our tinder-dry land they are simply acting as unguided flamethrowers,” she said.

Mr Sharma responded: “I will make sure this is raised with the appropriate department domestically.”

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