RSPB apologises for calling ministers "liars"


The chief executive of the RSPB has apologised after the charity called PM Rishi Sunak and several of his ministers "liars".

In a social media post, the charity accused several household names in the Conservative government of breaking promises not to weaken environmental rules. Chief excutive Beccy Speight said the charity had been "frustrated" with plans to scrap water protection restrictions for housing developments – but added that the "framing" of the post was "incorrect and inappropriate".

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, she insisted the rules change on water protections "goes against" previous government pledges.

But she said it was wrong to target "individual people", adding that the RSPB wanted to campaign on "policy, not on people". She added she had not approved the post before it went out, adding it had not gone through the charity's "normal protocols".

The post followed a government announcment that certain water pollution rules would be removed, which in turn would make it easier for developers to build houses close to waterways as part of plans to encourage more housebuilding.

In a post on its account on X, formerly known as Twitter, the RSPB criticised Mr Sunak, Housing Secretary Michael Gove and Environment Secretary Therese Coffey directly, writing: "You said you wouldn't weaken environmental protections … And yet that's just what you are doing. You lie, and you lie, and you lie again."