The former Liberal leader John Hewson has called on Scott Morrison to grant government MPs a conscience vote on a new parliamentary motion declaring a climate emergency. Hewson, who will join MPs on Wednesday to champion the new parliamentary motion which is being pursued by the Greens and is supported by most of the lower house crossbench, told Guardian Australia there was no controversy associated with declaring a climate emergency in 2019, “because my view is it was an emergency 30 years ago”. He said Liberal backbenchers were feeling pressure from their constituents about the Coalition’s lack of ambition on climate change, so the prime minister should allow a free vote on the motion. Hewson argued if it had been acceptable for Tony Abbott to declare a budget emergency in the run-up to the 2013 election, Liberals in 2019 should have no issue with adopting the language in the […]