UK to endure 40C heatwave but Tory MP says wary Britons are 'cowards and snowflakes'

·3 min read
A view of people on the beach in Margate, Kent. Temperatures are predicted to hit 31C across central England on Sunday ahead of record-breaking highs next week. Picture date: Sunday July 17, 2022.
Thousands of people on the beach at Margate, Kent, on Sunday. (PA)

A Tory MP has said that people taking precautions in the heatwave battering Britain are "cowards" and "snowflakes".

Temperatures are forecast to break through the 40C mark on Monday and Tuesday, which would make it the hottest it's ever been in the UK.

An amber heat warning from the Met Office for England and parts of Wales began on Sunday, and England's alert will rise to red on Monday and Tuesday for the first time, meaning there will be risk to life.

But Sir John Hayes, Conservative MP for South Holland and The Deepings in Lincolnshire, attacked those who will try to keep cool on Monday and Tuesday.

Watch: How to cope with the extreme temperatures during the heatwave

"This is not a brave new world but a cowardly new world where we live in a country where we are frightened of the heat," he told the Daily Telegraph.

"It is not surprising that in snowflake Britain, the snowflakes are melting. Thankfully, most of us are not snowflakes.

"The idea that we clamour for hot weather for most of the year and then shut down when it does heat up is indicative of the state in which we now live."

Conservative MP John Hayes arrives in Downing Street, London.
Conservative MP Sir John Hayes called people preparing for the heatwave 'cowards' and 'snowflakes'. (PA)
People sit outside a beach hut at Thorpe Bay, Southend-on-Sea on the Thames Estuary in Essex. Temperatures are predicted to hit 31C across central England on Sunday ahead of record-breaking highs next week. Picture date: Sunday July 17, 2022.
People sit outside a beach hut at Thorpe Bay, Southend-on-Sea, on the Thames Estuary in Essex, on Sunday. (PA)

The former government junior minister at the Department of Energy and Climate Change is paid £50,000 a year on top of his MP salary as an adviser to BB Energy Trading, a worldwide energy trading company, according to the parliamentary register of interests.

On Sunday, deputy prime minister Dominic Raab said people should take precautions but be resilient enough to "enjoy the sunshine".

Read more: Redheads given free cinema tickets to escape heatwave on Monday and Tuesday

Her comments were made after Mr Raab said people should take precautions ahead of the record-breaking temperatures but added that they should be able to enjoy themselves.

He told Sophy Ridge On Sunday on Sky News: “Obviously, there is some common sense practical advice we are talking about – stay hydrated, stay out of the sun at the hottest times, wear sun cream – those sorts of things.

“We ought to enjoy the sunshine and actually we ought to be resilient enough through some of the pressures it will place.”

A child enjoys the hot weather at Hathersage open air swimming pool at Hope Valley, near Sheffield. Temperatures are predicted to hit 31C across central England on Sunday ahead of record-breaking highs next week. Picture date: Sunday July 17, 2022.
A child enjoys the hot weather at Hathersage open air swimming pool at Hope Valley, near Sheffield, on Sunday. (PA)

But Tracy Nicholls, chief executive of the College of Paramedics, told the same programme: “This isn’t like a lovely hot day where we can put a bit of sunscreen on, go out and enjoy a swim and a meal outside.

“This is serious heat that could actually, ultimately, end in people’s deaths because it is so ferocious. We’re just not set up for that sort of heat in this country.”

Dr Nikos Christidis, climate attribution scientist at the Met Office, said the 40C prediction is a result of climate change.

Ministers held a virtual emergency Cobra meeting on Saturday after meteorologists warned the record high temperatures could put lives at risk.

Additional contingency support for ambulance services, such as more call handlers and extra working hours, have been put in place for Monday and Tuesday.

Watch: Minister tells people to 'look out for' elderly and vulnerable during heatwave

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