Boris Johnson laughs about Margaret Thatcher closing coal mines on his Scottish trip

By Stewart Paterson

Political Correspondent

Boris Johnson laughs about Margaret Thatcher closing coal mines on his Scottish trip

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Boris Johnson laughed when talking about Margaret Thatcher closing coal mines when he took questions during his visit to Scotland.

The Prime Minister was asked about decommissioning of oil and gas fields and he brought up the pit closures in the 1980s which he said provided “a big easy start”.  

In a virtual media call with Scottish journalists he chuckled when talking about the pit closures which devastated mining communities across Scotland and the UK.

He was taking questions while on a boat in the North Sea to look at renewable technology, when he was asked about transitioning from oil and gas and setting a deadline for decommissioning.

He compared the move from oil and gas to renewable energy to the switch from coal.

The Prime Minister said: “Look at what we’ve done already.

“We’ve transitioned away from coal in my lifetime, thanks to Margaret Thatcher who closed so many coal mines.”

As he says it he can be heard laughing, before adding: “Across the country we had a big early start and we’re now moving rapidly away from coal all together."

At this point he speaks to someone on the boat with him. He says: “I thought that would get you going.” 

He added: “We’re now  down to less than 2%, I think it’s I% of our energy comes from coal.”