Jones, 57, said he was unprepared for the scandal: “I am just a scientist. I have no training in PR or dealing with crises.”
The incident has taken a severe toll on his health. He has lost more than a stone in weight and disclosed he is on beta-blockers and using sleeping pills. He said the support of his family, and especially the love of his five-year-old granddaughter, had helped him to shake off suicidal thoughts: “I wanted to see her grow up.”
He remains at risk, still receiving death threats from around the world including two in the past week: “I was shocked. People said I should go and kill myself. They said that they knew where I lived. They were coming from all over the world.”
Jones has temporarily stood down as director of the climatic research unit at the University of East Anglia. He fiercely defends the unit’s science " “I stand by it 100%” " but now accepts that he did not treat Freedom of Information (FoI) requests for the data as seriously as he should have done. Jones believes that the unit was maliciously targeted with multiple FoI requests by climate change sceptics determined to disrupt its work.
Almost like the story of Loki in Nordic myths, universally hated...