Jeremy Vine received abuse after posing for photo with Greta Thunberg

Jeremy Vine says he’s been subjected to ‘disgraceful’ abuse after posting a photo of himself with Greta Thunberg saying he was ‘honoured’ to meet her

  • BBC Radio 2 host interviewed the climate change campaigner on Monday 
  • After the radio show he posted a photo of himself with Greta, 19, saying he had been ‘honoured’ to meet and chat with the Swedish activist 
  • Some of those who saw the tweet responded negatively to his joy at the meeting 
  • On Tuesday, he revealed to 785,000 followers that both he and Greta had been subjected to abuse, saying: ‘Why has this tweet made some people so angry?’

Broadcaster Jeremy Vine has revealed that he’s been targeted with ‘disgraceful’ abuse after posting a photo of himself with Great Thunberg, saying he was ‘honoured’ to meet her. 

The Radio 2 lunchtime presenter told his 785,000 followers on Twitter that he was shocked at how angry the response to the photo – which was taken following an interview with Thunberg, 19, on his radio show on Monday – was. 

Yesterday, Vine, told his followers: ‘Why has this tweet made some people so angry? And some of them even sending disgraceful messages to Greta Thunberg.’

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The BBC Radio 2 host interviewed the climate change campaigner on his Monday show, and shared this photograph of the pair together afterwards saying he was ‘honoured’ to meet her

The question sparked dozens of messages, many in support of the Swedish activist, while others took umbrage with the fact that Vine, 57, had used the word ‘honoured’ when describing the meeting with the teenager. 

One user, @rhderryman, wrote: ‘Because she talks at us like we have never heard of climate change. We know and most people are doing something. And people like the King would wipe the floor with her patronising rants.’

Another, @Hells4Heroes chimed in: ‘Although she may be useful for getting children onboard with her message, she does not have one single qualification to her name regarding climate change.

‘There are plenty of experts you could interview, she is not one of them.’

@Dominquetaegon added: ‘I don’t know why you’re honoured. She’s a kid being taken advantage of by adults. She isn’t qualified and many of the things she says are demonstrably false.’

Many defended Greta’s work, saying politicians weren’t acting quick enough on climate change. 

Match of the Day host @GaryLineker posted: ‘Bewildering how a young woman is attacked for trying to save human beings from extinction.’

@_James_Sansome_ wrote: ‘I couldn’t care how long they have taken to get to where they are now or who they are. All we should care about is if they grow a pair and do what’s right for the future of our planet by making meaningful change. Without a liveable planet we don’t have anything.’

@FulhamLes penned: ‘The current heads of state haven’t made a very good job of looking after the planet. Perhaps a non-political youngster speaking with honesty and integrity (sadly lacking in most leaders) is the answer.’

During a short interview on his radio programme, the pair discussed how Greta coped with being known the world over, with the 19-year-old telling him that Sweden doesn’t have a ‘celebrity culture’ so dealing with global fame has been particularly difficult.

She explained how her school protests ‘blew up’, saying: ‘For anyone that age to experience that, it’s hard to put it into words, it’s such an extraordinary thing to go through, especially when you don’t expect anything. 

‘In Sweden we don’t have a celebrity culture at all and people weren’t talking about it, so I didn’t know. It was more when I went abroad in 2019, that I thought “This is big”. 

When I saw school strikes in other countries and when millions flooded the streets, we thought to ourselves “what have we started?'”

In September, Jeremy Vine revealed that his stalker, Alex Belfield, 42, had been sentenced to five and a half years in jail for stalking the presenter and three other victims in the broadcasting world by waging a relentless campaign of harassment against them online.

Belfield posted YouTube videos attacking his victims to his 350,000 subscribers and aggressively posted about them on social media, encouraging his followers to do the same.

Belfield posted the videos on his YouTube channel with over 350,000 subscribers 

The judge in his trial at Nottingham Crown Court said one of his victims came close to killing himself.

BBC presenter Vine was subject to a years-long stream of abuse and harassment, and has said he feared someone would have died if the courts had not intervened.

Belfield also harassed theatre blogger Philip Dehany and BBC Radio Northampton presenter Bernard Spedding for years, with his followers sending Mr Spedding death threats. 

Jeremy Vine blasted social media companies YouTube and Twitter for not taking down abusive and defamatory videos made by Belfield, and allowing him to keep his account even after being imprisoned.

The day he was sentenced, Belfield uploaded a compilation of his home videos and clips from his live show on his ‘Voice of Reason’ channel entitled ‘Back Soon’.

The stalker posted the ominous message in the description of a video posted on the day he was sentenced to five and a half years in jail 

The description added: ‘We’ll be back.’ 

Speaking to BBC Newsnight, Mr Vine said he was ‘disgusted by the lack of values of the social media companies’ in not acting to stop ‘fountain of hate’ Belfield. 

Mr Vine added the abuse was so serious he feared ‘someone taking a knife or even acid to my home’. 

He said: ‘I’m amazed how hard it is to get them to realise. We went to Youtube and said “Come on, you know what was going on with this guy, you can’t just allow him to defame.”

‘Then we say “ok, there’s a libel action now based on that video, that video”, they still won’t take them down. 

‘Eventually I had to go through a lawyer, they take down individual videos and then when he’s convicted they demonetise him.

‘But half the videos about me are still out there. His technique was to say copy and share.

‘So you’ll have someone who takes his video in Moscow and hosts it and it’ll always be out there. I’ve got to live with that.

‘But the fact that Youtube hosts this stuff, they have no responsibility. They don’t care, they don’t give a toss. 

‘I am disgusted by their lack of values, and Twitter as well.

‘The guy is in prison and he’s still got a Twitter account. What the hell is that about? I don’t understand it.

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