Stars and politicians with a lot of children 'should have snip to save planet'

The role vasectomies could play in dealing with the global eco-crisis was raised in Parliament by Liberal Democrat Lord Jones of Cheltenham

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Sports stars, celebrities and politicians with large families should have the snip to help curb the population and save the planet, it has been suggested at Westminster.

The role vasectomies could play in dealing with the global eco-crisis was raised in Parliament by Liberal Democrat Lord Jones of Cheltenham.

He highlighted the warnings sounded by leading environmentalists, including veteran broadcaster Sir David Attenborough, about the impact of global overpopulation on the natural world.

Forecasts suggest that by 2050 there will be more than 10 billion people on earth – an increase of more than 25% from 2020 – which is seen as unsustainable.

Lord Jones’ mention of politicians among those who should be setting an example is likely to be seen as a veiled reference to Boris Johnson, who has at least seven children, although the Prime Minister has refused to be drawn on exactly how many.

Speaking during a question in the Lords about support for larger families, Lord Jones said: “Leading environmentalists including Sir David Attenborough say the world’s greatest problem is an ever-increasing human population.

“Does the Government believe that vasectomies provide part of the answer and do they think that male sports stars, celebrities and politicians with six, seven or eight children should have a vasectomy to set an example and help save the planet?”

Responding, work and pensions minister Baroness Stedman-Scott joked: “There’s a question. A rather cutting one if I may say.”

Big Issue founder and independent crossbencher Lord Bird told peers: “I also have to say that my snip came too late as I have five children.”

Lady Stedman-Scott said: “We do seem to be sharing today, do we not?”