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Meteorologist hits back when MP calls her ‘weather girl’

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

An English meteorologist has hit back at Liberal MP Craig Kelly after he described her as a “weather girl” following a heated interview on British morning TV.

An English meteorologist has hit back at Liberal MP Craig Kelly after he described her as a "weather girl" following a heated interview on British morning TV.

Mr Kelly described Good Morning Britain presenter Laura Tobin as an "IGNORANT POMMY WEATHER GIRL" in a Facebook post this morning.

The Liberal MP from Sydney's south had previously been branded a "climate change denier" after he insisted the Australian bushfires had no connection to global warming.

Australian Minister has heated interview on British Breakfast TV Bushfires are seen between the towns of Orbost and Lakes Entrance in east Gippsland.

Tobin took umbrage at Mr Kelly's description of her, replying on Twitter with  a list of her qualifications.

She noted she had a degree in physics and meteorology and had spent four years as an aviation forecaster at the RAF before taking a role in broadcasting.

She included as a hashtag the phrase "I know what I'm talking about".

Mr Kelly was a furniture salesman before being elected to Parliament.

The member for Hughes denied embarrassing the Coalition with two interviews on British television, which made international news overnight.

Mr Kelly first told the BBC on Saturday that Australian scientists have disproved any link between climate change and extreme weather conditions such as drought in causing fires.

"There is no link, the facts that cause the fires are the drought and the drying of the environment," he said.

"On this, climate scientists down here have been very clear and they have said there is no link between drought and climate change."

Instead, Mr Kelly attributed Australia's current bushfire situation to a lack of hazard reduction burning and claimed a push towards renewable energy would not have prevented the crisis.

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Australia Bushfires: Craig Kelly defends PM's fire response on UK TV

"People here in Australia understand - if they look at the evidence and look at the signs - there is nothing that we can do here in Australia by sending billions more off to China to buy solar panels to replace our coal fire electricity generators," he said.

"That is not going to change the weather here in Australia one iota and is not going to stop one bushfire.

"What we are seeing down here - the major problem that we have - has been a lack of what we call hazard reduction burning, which is the practice that the Aboriginals of Australia practiced for tens of thousands of years where they ensured they went through the native Australian bush and they burnt it during the cooler times."

Overnight, Mr Kelly was slammed as "not a climate sceptic" but a "climate denier" as he was interviewed by GMB weather presenter Laura Tobin.

"Australia have just had in 2019 their highest year temperature-wise ever recorded and their driest year ever record with forecast temperatures that go back over 100 years," Tobin began.

"At the moment we want everyone to commit in the world to be one-and-a-half degrees to lower our global temperature rise. You can't even commit to two degrees.

"You have the second-highest carbon emission per person on Earth and you are burying your head in the sand, this is a climate emergency.

"You're not a climate sceptic, you're a climate denier."

Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

It was not Kelly's only appearance on the show, where he later copped a spray from popular conservative host Piers Morgan who described the MP's claims as "extraordinary".

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"One thing you have to understand (is) our fire regime and our firefighting regime – it is state based. We have separate state firefighting forces, like we have separate state police forces," Mr Kelly told hosts Morgan and Susanna Reid.

"The ultimate responsibility for fighting fires is the state premiers and the state emergency services ministers."

Reid then criticised Mr Kelly for his answer, saying that the bushfires were a national emergency for Australia which Mr Morrison should have shown leadership for.

Bushfire crisis in Eden

"The only thing the national leader can actually do on this is basically wait until he gets response from those state premiers asking more resources," Mr Kelly replied.

"Any time one of those state premiers has come forward and said we need something, the Prime Minister has done that - he's shown leadership."

An outraged Morgan hit back, describing the Prime Minister's response to the disaster as a "dereliction of his duty as leader of Australia".

"The truth is, he was absent when the fires were burning. Scott Morrison thought the right response to these fires erupting in Australia was to go lie on the beach in Hawaii," the host said.

"You're facing one of the greatest crises you've ever faced and there is you Mr Kelly, with respect a senior politician, who still doesn't think this has anything to do with a heating up planet.

"Nothing to see here, nothing to worry about as virtually your entire country is eviscerated by fires - it is quite extraordinary."

Mr Kelly represents the electorate adjacent to Mr Morrison's.

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The district takes in the southern Sydney suburbs of Sutherland, Menai, Engadine and Sylvania, as well as the Royal National Park.

Liberal Senator Hollie Hughes, who is also from NSW, had strong words for Mr Kelly's remarks and the comments from his supporters.

"It's disgusting and not representative of the people in my party or who we represent," she tweeted.

"People who make violent or misogynistic comments such as those should be reported."

IN PICTURES: Scenes of devastation following catastrophic bushfire weekend

Mr Morrison has come under heavy criticism both at home and even abroad for his response to the bushfire crisis, including awkward encounters with residents and firefighting volunteers in bushfire-affected zones who have refused to shake his hand or shown vocal displays of frustration and anger.

Many people have been killed, hundreds of thousands of wildlife and livestock have died, millions of hectares of land have been burned and homes in multiple states have been destroyed by the fires.

A man runs back to his truck after trying to quench a fire near Moruya, Australia.

Source: 9News

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