Neil Hamilton

Neil Hamilton

Credentials

  • MSc Economics, University College of Wales (1973). [1]
  • LLM, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge (1977). [1]

Background

Neil Hamilton is the leader of the UK Independence Party and an Assembly Member for Mid and West Wales. He was previously the leader of UKIP in the National Assembly for Wales before being ousted in 2018, and served as the Conservative MP for Tatton from 1983 to 1997. [2], [3], [4]

Hamilton is dubious about what he calls a “#climatehoax”. He has previously said “even if global warming is a massive problem which I dispute, human intervention can do very little to change” it, and has called wind projects a “massive scam”. [5], [6], [7]

Hamilton grew up in a mining family – both is grandfathers were coal miners and his father became the National Coal Board Chief Engineer for Wales. [8]

During his time in the Conservative Party, Hamilton opposed the removal of lead in petrol and accepted payments to lobby for the US tobacco industry, which he did not declare in the Members’ Register of Financial Interests. [9], [10]

In 1997, Hamilton lost his seat to BBC war correspondent Martin Bell, who was standing as an independent candidate. Prior to the election, the Conservative majority in Tatton had been the party’s fourth largest at almost 16,000 votes, but after Labour and Liberal Democrat candidates tactically stood down, Bell won by an 11,000 majority with a 48% swing. [11]

In 2018, Hamilton was widely criticised for his defence of Enoch Powell, a former Conservative MP infamous for his 1968 anti-immigration “Rivers of Blood” speech. Speaking to BBC Radio Wales, Hamilton said that Powell had been “proved right by events” and that “he wasn’t a racist in the crude sense”. [12]

Stance on Climate Change

December 4, 2019

Speaking to broadcaster Jeremy Vine on BBC Radio 2, Hamilton said: [6]

Even if global warming is a massive problem which I dispute, human intervention can do very little to change. [6]

The climate has changed throughout all millennia. The climate today is no warmer than it was in medieval times or in Roman times, and in between we’ve had cold periods. So, we don’t have the information available to be able to draw any hard and fast conclusions today.” [6]

Later, Hamilton responded to Vine’s statement that there had been “accelerated change” since the Industrial Revolution by saying: [6]

There’s no evidence of that whatsoever. The temperature of the world globally has increased by 0.9 of a degree in 150 years, and there’s no evidence whatsoever that extreme weather events are becoming more frequent. If you look at the temperature data and the precipitation data. The actual data, as opposed to computer modelling predictions, you can’t discern any of these trends in them. And so what we’re seeing is a manufactured, psychological crisis rather than a real climatological crisis.” [6]

Key Quotes

April 20, 2020

Responding to a New York Times headline titled “This Earth Day, We Should Repent,” Hamilton tweeted: [5]

‘Repent’? Climate alarmism uses the language of a cult because that’s what it is.  #ClimateHoax.” [5]

January 21, 2020

In reaction to an article about how world leaders were using private jets to arrive in Davos for the World Economic Forum, Hamilton tweeted: [13]

One rule for them, another for the rest of us. The so-called ‘climate crisis’ that Greta and the global elite shove down our throats can’t be that serious if this is still happening #ClimateHoax #Davos2020 #Davos.” [13]

July 13, 2019

During the UKIP South East Conference, Hamilton said: [14]

Now we live in an age of another fad and fancy called global warming … Governments all over the world are now enslaved by this idea somehow or other that the planet is going to incinerate itself within, if you believe the most extreme of these advocates like Theresa May and the British Government, then by 2030 it’s all up mate…” [14]

On the government’s recently announced net-zero target, Hamilton, in an apparent joke, said, to laughter: [14]

Every time we breathe out, of course, we breathe CO2, so logically speaking, if you’re carbon neutral, you have to get rid of all the people.” [14]

On global warming, Hamilton said: [14]

It’s quite clear from the history of the last 100 years alone, that there is no correlation that can be discerned between the amount of carbon dioxide, which is being emitted, and the temperature of the planet.” [14]

May 17, 2019

In response to the Guardian revising its style guide for journalists reporting on the environment, Hamilton tweeted: [15]

The term ‘Climate Sceptic’ is to be purged from the Guardian style-guide and replaced with ‘Climate Denier’. They cannot be seen to be in opposition to ‘sceptics’, because the opposite of sceptical is gullible. #climatehoax.” [15]

May 2, 2019

Hamilton gave a speech during a Welsh Assembly debate on climate change where he said: [16]

The motion starts with one of the most spectacularly silly statements you could imagine, that the world’s scientific community says there are just 12 years left to prevent 1.5 degrees of warming. I’m old enough to remember the invention of the environment as a political issue at the end of the 1960s.” [16]

He went on to say: [16]

In 1998 there started a 20 year pause in increases in world temperature whilst global CO2 figures went up and up and up. And until 2015 or 16 they were flat. Nobody has quite explained how it is that these predictions fail to cope with the reality of temperatures which are recorded by actual observations.” [16]

Data from NASA, however, shows that “19 of the 20 warmest years all have occurred since 2001, with the exception of 1998”. [17] 

Key Deeds

September 13th, 2020

Hamilton replaced Freddy Vachha as leader of UKIP, announcing that the Party was now “a proper mainstream political party”.  [25]

December 30, 2019

Hamilton shared a graphic on Twitter displaying the share of total global emissions between various countries in 2017. Along with the chart, Hamilton wrote: [18]

The UK creates a trifling 1% of global CO2 emissions. Even if we could achieve net zero without crashing the economy, the end result would be entirely negligible.” [18]

December 9, 2019 

Speaking in the Welsh Parliament, Hamilton argued that the people of Wales were more interested in economic growth than “airy-fairy notions of an undeliverable climate change target”. He also claimed that wind projects were a “massive scam” and that “whatever we do in this country, it’s going to make no difference whatsoever to global warming”. [7]

December 4, 2019

Hamilton was interviewed on a BBC Radio 2 talk show, during which he described the COP25 United Nations Climate Change Conference that was being hosted in Spain at the time as “a massive talkfest and propaganda exercise”. [6]

July 24, 2019

Hamilton posted an edited picture of Swedish climate change activist Greta Thunberg with demonic eyes and text added above her face which read, “Have you done anything this week that Greta might disapprove of?” [19]

Sally Holland, the Children’s Commissioner for Wales, subsequently wrote to Hamilton to express her disappointment, saying she was “mortified that a politician in Wales could make a personal attack on a child on social media in this manner”. [20]

June 21, 2019

On Twitter, Hamilton claimed that wind power “produces 0% of the world’s energy consumption” and that wind turbines were therefore “unreliable and inefficient sources of energy”. [21]

In fact, wind energy produced 4.8% of global electricity in 2018, an increase of 10% on the previous year, according to BP figures. [22]

April 30, 2019

The Facebook account for UKIP Wales released a video featuring Hamilton expressing his disagreement with the Welsh government’s declaration of a climate emergency. [23]

In the clip, Hamilton said: [23]

We’ve had many many predictions of imminent disaster from so-called scientists and other alarmists over the years, none of them has yet been proved right… 

…All these middle-class privileged virtue signallers are actually imposing huge burdens on ordinary people.” [23]

Ending the clip, Hamilton urged viewers to “wake up and wise up – there is no climate change problem”. [23]

Wales Online later analysed Hamilton’s comments and disputed 10 claims he had wrongly made in what the article called a “bizarre video”. [24]

Affiliations

Social Media

Publications

  • None.

Resources

  1. Neil Hamilton MS,” Senedd Cymru Welsh Parliament. Archived June 2, 2020. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/GzY3P

  2. Neil Hamilton AM,” UKIP. Archived June 2, 2020. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/a7Tsi

  3. Neil Hamilton ousted as UKIP leader in Welsh Assembly,” BBC News, May 17, 2018. Archived June 2, 2020. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/kW3qw

  4. Neil Hamilton,” UK Parliament MPs and Lords. Archived June 2, 2020. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/9UZaS

  5. Neil Hamilton. “’Repent?’ Climate alarmism uses the language of a cult because that’s what it is. #ClimateHoax,” Tweet by @NeilUKIP, April 20, 2020. Retrieved from Twitter.com. Archived .png on file at DeSmog.

  6. Neil Hamilton EXPOSES the Climate Change Consensus,” YouTube video uploaded by user UKIP on December 4, 2019. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

  7. County Echo Reporter. “Neil Hamilton AM calls for ‘scam’ wind projects to be stopped,” County Echo, December 9, 2019. Archived June 2, 2020.

  8. Neil Hamilton MS,” Senedd Cymru Welsh Parliament. Archived June 2, 2020. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/GzY3P

  9. James Walsh. “Neil Hamilton: disgraced MP to Z-list celebrity to political comeback,” Guardian, May 10, 2016. Archived June 2, 2020. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/u77Rr

  10. Neil Hamilton,” Tobacco TacticsArchived June 2, 2020. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/dxmth

  11. Chas Early. “April 8, 1997: Martin Bell takes on ‘corrupt’ Neil Hamilton in Battle of Knutsford Heath,” BT, April 4, 2019. Archived June 2, 2020. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/yoAG9

  12. Enoch Powell right about immigration, UKIP‘s Neil Hamilton claims,” BBC News, April 16, 2018. Archived June 2, 2020. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/54t7H

  13. Neil Hamilton. “One rule for them, another for the rest of us. The so-called ‘climate crisis’ that Greta and the global elite shove down our throats can’t be that serious if this is still happening #ClimateHoax #Davos2020 #Davos,” Tweet by @NeilUKIP, January 21, 2020. Retrieved from Twitter.com. Archived .png on file at DeSmog.

  14. UKIP SE Conference: Neil Hamilton,” Facebook post by UKIP, July 13, 2019. Archived June 2, 2020. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

  15. Neil Hamilton. “The term ‘Climate Sceptic’ is to be purged from the Guardian style-guide and replaced with ‘Climate Denier’.  They cannot be seen to be in opposition to ‘sceptics’, because the opposite of sceptical is gullible. #ClimateHoax,” Tweet by @NeilUKIP, May 17, 2019. Retrieved from Twitter.com. Archived .png on file at DeSmog.

  16. Neil Hamilton AM – Climate Change Debate,” Facebook post by UKIP Wales, May 2, 2019. Archived June 2, 2020. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

  17. Global Temperature,” NASAArchived June 2, 2020. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/foUhK

  18. Neil Hamilton. “The UK creates a trifling 1% of global CO2 emissions.  Even if we could achieve net zero without crashing the economy, the end result would be entirely negligible.  #ClimateHoax,” Tweet by @NeilUKIP, December 30, 2019. Retrieved from Twitter.com. Archived .png on file at DeSmog.

  19. Neil Hamilton. “It’s shaping up to be the hottest day of the year – please remember: No electric fans DEFINITELY no air conditioning Greta has spoken. #ClimateHoax #ExtinctionRebellion,” Tweet by @NeilUKIP, July 24, 2019. Retrieved from Twitter.com. Archived .png on file at DeSmog.

  20. Greta Thunberg: Neil Hamilton accused of ‘personal attack’ on child activist,” BBC News, July 25, 2019. Archived June 2, 2020. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/IJUoN

  21. Neil Hamilton. “To the nearest whole number, wind power produces 0% of the world’s energy consumption. The turbines kill birds and bats.  Mining the rare-earth metals needed for the necessary magnets produces hideous pollution in Mongolia…” Tweet by @NeilUKIP, June 21, 2019. Retrieved from Twitter.com. Archived .png on file at DeSmog.

  22. Renewable Energy,” BPArchived June 2, 2020. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/v3IZK#

  23. Watch Neil Hamilton’s new video,” Facebook post by UKIP Wales, April 30, 2019. Archived June 2, 2020. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

  24. Will Hayward. “A politician posted a bizarre video denying climate change – and got a lot of things wrong,” Wales Online, May 7, 2019. Archived June 2, 2020. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/ikSz0

  25. Jonathan Read, Neil Hamilton becomes latest leader of UKIP after previous leader ousted,  The New European, 13th September 2020. Archived September 14, 2020 Archive URLhttps://web.archive.org/save/https://www.theneweuropean.co.uk/top-stories/ukip-ousts-leader-and-replaces-him-with-neil-hamilton-1-6835663 

Image credit: National Assembly for Wales / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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