Paterson: I got fewer death threats at the NIO than I did at DEFRA

editorial image

Owen Paterson has said that he got more death threats in just a few months at the Whitehall environment department than he ever got as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

Mr Paterson, who spent almost two and a half years at the Northern Ireland Office, was sacked from the Cabinet by David Cameron last week after two years as Environment Secretary.

One of several high profile ministers to lose their posts, Mr Paterson’s removal from the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) was welcomed by environmentalists.

Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, Mr Paterson accused what he referred to as “the Green Blob” of being a “mutually supportive network of environmental pressure groups, renewable energy companies and some public officials who keep each other well supplied with lavish funds, scare stories and green tape”.

Mr Paterson, who enthusiastically supported a controversial badger cull, added: “I soon realised that the greens and their industrial and bureaucratic allies are used to getting things their own way.

“I received more death threats in a few months at DEFRA than I ever did as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. My home address was circulated worldwide with an incitement to trash it; I was burnt in effigy by Greenpeace as I was recovering from an operation to save my eyesight.

“But I did not set out to be popular with lobbyists and I never forgot that they were not the people I was elected to serve.”