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Vicar, 71, sews lips shut in protest over 'press responsibility' for climate crisis

by Chantalle Edmunds
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Courtesy of Zoe Broughton

A retired vicar sewed his lips shut outside the main entrance of media giant News Corp UK at the Shard in London to draw attention to the alleged silencing of climate science by Rupert Murdoch and News Corp.

Rev Tim Hewes, 71, who is a Church of England priest in the Diocese of Oxford and a former dentist, made a video statement on Monday, before he sewed up his lips, in which he said: "...Today there are countless people throughout the world who are voiceless and suffering because of the climate emergency. Climate science and truth has been muted and those who suffer are not being heard. I have tried every other way I can think of to end the influences and madness represented by Rupert Murdoch and his denial of the climate emergency."

News Corp responded to the protest by refusing to engage with Rev Tim or his supporters and directed people to use their side entrance.

Co-founder of Christian Climate Action, Ruth Jarman, held the mirror up for Rev Tim as he sewed his lips. She told Premier it was a symbolic gesture:

"It was trying to sort of symbolically visualise the truth of what was happening. When Tim first mentioned to me that he was thinking of doing this, just the thought of it really shocked me. And then my second thought was, gosh, he really does think this is true, you know, sacrifices are having to be made. And people are sacrificing their lives in the developing world, and also in the first world now, because of climate change. I think we need to do bigger things, things that are commensurate with the seriousness of the situation to show people that there is really a problem out there and things need to change. And this is one of the ways of doing that."

Rev Mark Coleman, 62, delivered a letter to the building for Ben Webster, Environment Editor at The Times, which asked Mr Webster to be courageous and to meet with them to discuss the situation. Rev Mark was informed that Mr Webster wasn't in the building.

After two hours, Rev Tim chose to end his protest and remove his stitches.

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