Does Toby Young Have “Close Affiliations to the Fossil Fuel Industry”?

According to The Spectator magazine “Toby Young is associate editor of The Spectator”

According to Toby’s article in tomorrow’s edition of The Spectator:

On Sunday, the BBC did something unusual. It invited Luke Johnson, a climate contrarian, to join a panel with Laura Kuenssberg to discuss net zero. As followers of this debate will know, the BBC’s editorial policy unit issued guidance to staff in 2018 saying: ‘As climate change is accepted as happening, you do not need a “denier” to balance the debate.’ Although it did allow for exceptions to this rule: ‘There are occasions where contrarians and sceptics should be included within climate change and sustainability debates.’ Presumably this was one such occasion.

Here’s a picture of the “panel” he refers to:

Toby continues:

The other two people on the panel – Chris Packham and Layla Moran – are members of the climate emergency camp, so there was no pretence of ‘balance’. At one point, the exchange between Johnson and Packham became heated and when the latter invoked the recent downpour in Dubai as well as extensive wildfires in the ‘global south’, as evidence of the effect of anthropogenic global warming, Johnson challenged him to come up with evidence that extreme weather was caused by carbon emissions.

‘It doesn’t come from Toby Young’s Daily Septic [sic], which is basically put together by a bunch of professionals with close affiliations to the fossil fuel industry,’ replied Packham. ‘It comes from something called science.’

According to Mr. Young on X (formerly Twitter) yesterday:

In another Xweet Toby phrased things slightly differently, a sentiment echoed by Daily Sceptic Environment Editor Chris Morrison:

As you can see, “Snow White” is not entirely happy with the content of some of Mr. Morrison’s fantasy fiction published in the Daily Sceptic.

According to Companies House Toby Young is associated with Luke Johnson as well as Daily Sceptic Editor Will Jones. They are all directors of Skeptics Limited:

Isn’t it strange that Toby didn’t mentioned that fact in his Spectator article or on XTwitter?

Isn’t it strange that the BBC platforms a “climate contrarian” associated with the Daily Sceptic?

Isn’t it strange that The Spectator isn’t discussing what Layla Moran had to say?

“Let’s imagine that the science is right. What if we don’t do anything?

When you talk about colder, and poorer. That would be catastrophic, and I’m sure nobody wants to vote for that”.

[Update – April 26th 23:00]

Who would’ve thunk it? According to Andrew Neil on XTwitter the BBC have stated that:

During a discussion with the panel about various issues including climate change, broadcaster and conservationist Chris Packham claimed that the Daily Sceptic, whose editor in chief is Toby Young, is “basically put together by a bunch of professionals with close affiliations to the fossil fuel industry.”

We acknowledge we would ideally have asked him to present his evidence on this, but in a fast-moving live programme it’s not always possible to pick up on every point made by our guests.

We’ve removed any posts on X with this part of the discussion.

For some strange reason Mr. Neil hasn’t got around to answering any of the questions “Snow White” has put to him recently, including this one in particular:

Mr. Neil is also publicly promulgating scurrilous accusations against the UK’s beloved Met Office:

He hasn’t answered this question yet either:

[Update – April 27th]

Evidently lots of people have been complaining to our beloved BBC about Chris Packham’s recent outburst on live television. No doubt that’s because Toby Young has been orchestrating his flock of faithful followers to indulge in a “pile on” of adverse comments:

I thought I’d follow the herd, and here is the text of the complaint I typed into the Beeb’s online form earlier today:

I note that this recent announcement from the BBC:

states that “We’ve removed any posts on X with this part of the discussion.”

and that according to this article in the Daily Telegraph:

“The BBC has also removed the programme from iPlayer.”

This being the case, your announcement above should also indicate that fact.

I further note that according to Companies House Toby Young and Luke Johnson are both directors of Skeptics Ltd (Company number 13246865). Given his live reaction to Luke Johnson’s remarks on the programme I assume that Chris Packham has also noted that fact.

This being the case, your announcement above should also indicate the association between Mr. Young and Mr. Johnson.

An unfortunate side effect of the BBC’s self censorship is that Layla Moran’s response to Luke Johnson’s remarks are no longer as visible as they were. Please restore them to their former prominence on X and iPlayer, and anywhere else they may have recently been deleted.

Please also note that Toby and Luke’s “Daily Sceptic” web site is well known for promulgating disinformation about climate, energy policy and numerous other topics. Please do not offer them a platform to disseminate such disinformation again.

If you require any further information, please do not hesitate to ask.

This is the only response I have received so far:

BBC Complaints – Case number CAS-7812431-F7R3B6

Thanks for contacting the BBC. This is to confirm we’ve received the attached complaint sent in this name. We’ve included the text of the complaint and a case reference for your records (see below). 

Our normal aim at this stage is to reply within 10 working days (two weeks). We hope you will understand that sometimes it may take us longer. If we think that will be the case here, we’ll try to let you know in advance.

We’ll normally include your complaint in our overnight report to producers and management. This will circulate your complaint (with any personal details removed) together with all the other reaction we receive today. It will then be available for the right team to read tomorrow morning.

For full details of our complaints process you can visit:

Please don’t reply to this email because it’s an automated acknowledgement sent from an account which can’t receive replies. If you do need to get in touch, please use our webform instead at, quoting your reference number.

Watch this space!

3 thoughts on “Does Toby Young Have “Close Affiliations to the Fossil Fuel Industry”?

  1. Luke Johnson on climate change: “Where’s the evidence that any of that is connected to carbon emissions?” (referring to extreme weather event in Dubai)

    Chris Packham: “It doesn’t come from Toby Young’s Daily ‘Septic’ which is put together by those close to the FF industry, it comes from something called science”

    IPCC “There is low confidence in the emergence of heavy precipitation and pluvial and river flood frequency in observations”

    1. Is there evidence of the context in which Mr. Johnson asked that question still available somewhere on the World Wide Interweb? Sadly the BBC video linked to in Mr. Young’s Xweet above has been redacted!

      Which bit of which IPCC report are you quoting from Neil?

      Mr. Packham is certainly correct when he states that any evidence of that sort will not be found at the Daily Sceptic!

      Looking instead at this article on the World Weather Attribution web site you and Luke could read:

      Researchers from Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United States, Canada, France and the United Kingdom collaborated to assess to what extent human-induced climate change altered the likelihood and intensity of the weather conditions at the time of the most impactful floods…

      Based on the IPCC AR6 assessment, which includes scientific literature available up to January 2021, there is “medium confidence” that heavy precipitation would be detectably larger in the Arabian Peninsula at about 1.5°C of global warming compared to pre-industrial climate conditions, which is close to the current level of global warming.

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