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Leaders from all the main opposition parties have written to Boris Johnson urging him to take part in a televised debate on the climate crisis before the election.

The Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, the SNP’s Nicola Sturgeon, Jo Swinson of the Liberal Democrats and the Green party’s Jonathan Bartley and Siân Berry argue that the public have a right to know what political leaders intend to do to avoid “the irreversible impacts of environmental breakdown”.

“The climate and nature emergencies threaten everything we hold dear; the jobs we do, the health service we rely on, the houses we live in and the food that we grow and eat,” they wrote in the letter sent to Johnson on Tuesday.

“The public are right to look to us, their politicians, for leadership. The ambition of our response must match the scale of the challenge.”

The Conservatives, whose environmental record was condemned by leading climate scientists and former government advisers earlier this week, have failed to respond to questions from the Guardian regarding a climate debate.

But a memo sent to the organisers of a public campaign for a climate debate said Johnson would not participate because he did not want environmental issues “siloed”. Read more

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