A RETIRED MEMBER OF THE CLERGY sewed his lips shut and stood outside the main entrance of News Corps UK offices at the Shard in London on 2 August 2021.

His aim was to draw attention to the silencing of climate science by Rupert Murdoch and News Corp, which has led to a catastrophic lack of effective action to tackle the climate crisis.

The Rev Tim Hewes held placards including the words: ‘Murdoch muted climate science’, ‘Murdoch to the dock for ecocide’ and ‘The Murdoch legacy? The 6th Mass Extinction on planet earth’.

The Rev Mark Coleman was also present and delivered a letter to the building addressed to Ben Webster, Environment Editor at The Times, which asked Mr Webster to be courageous and to meet with them to discuss the situation. He was informed that Mr Webster was not in the building today.

News Corp responded to the protest by refusing to engage with either Hewes  or Coleman, and prevented others from engaging by directing people to their side entrance. After two hours, Tim Hewes chose to end his protest and remove his stitches.

Hewes, who is a Church of England priest in the Diocese of Oxford and a former dentist, made a video statement before he sewed up his lips, in which he said: “I’m sewing up my lips to demonstrate the terrible and violent havoc Murdoch’s actions have reaped upon the world and to symbolically make visible this truth. 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 everything other way I can think of to end the influences and madness represented by Rupert Murdoch and his denial of the climate emergency.”

Coleman, a Church of England priest in the Diocese of Manchester, said: “I am supporting Tim in his action because he is courageously drawing attention to the undue and distorting influence of Murdoch’s media. The truth that will set us free, not media spin and confusion.”

* The video statement (with content some people may find upsetting) is available here.

* Source: Christian Climate Action