In an interview with the newspaper, Jonathon Porritt, who was appointed by the prime minister 18 months ago to chair the Sustainable Development Commission, the key government advisory body on green issues,said:'Mr Blair has been playing it a bit lukewarm. There has not been leadership at the top, no quality leadership. Government ministers are inclined to inflate the government's five-year record, rather than telling it as it really is'.
Mr Porritt defended environment minister Michael Meacher ,who ruffled feathers when he called for the government to do more for the environment, saying:'The spat with Michael Meacher is part of the problem. The government has dumped the whole environmental issue on him and expected him to get on with it. But he is not in the cabinet and there is a limit to what he can do.
'People in government need to be told the environment is very important and the
prime minister needs to take the lead'.
Mr Porritt, a former director of Friends of the Earth, also attacked the government's failure to improve public transport. He said: 'Transport is set in its own gridlock. Very little has started to happen.
'That is because we have not got used to the idea that there has to be consistent investment in infrastructure, not this stop-and-start that is still happening'.