The founder of the Pro-Brexit campaign group Leave.EU has made a joke about the climate change activist Greta Thunberg being involved in a 'freak yachting accident.'

The teenager, who has become one of the most prominent people on the planet in raising awareness about climate change, embarked on a zero-carbon two-week voyage across the Atlantic on board a solar-powered yacht on Wednesday.

Images of the 16-year-old onboard the vessel soon began to arrive online, with the Green Party MP Caroline Lucas wishing Thunberg good luck on her trip.

Thunberg, who has become a target for online harassment and ridicule by climate change deniers, was subjected to an apparent 'joke' from Banks, who retweeted Lucas adding 'freak yachting accidents do happen in August.'

Banks' attempt at humour was heavily admonished on social media with many branding his gag as completely unacceptable regardless of the message that she is trying to promote.

In a series of tweets posted late on Wednesday, Banks has since attempted to defend himself and his joke.

Thunberg was also subjected to mockery by the broadcaster Julia Hartley-Brewer, who despite criticising Banks, posted a picture of the Swede joking that she didn't feel guilty about booking a long haul flight for her family's Christmas holiday.

Unsurprisingly, her tweet was also heavily criticised by members of Twitter.

Hartley-Brewer responded to the criticism with a query about whether a political campaigner of her nature, regardless of age, should be debated.

HT Guardian

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