THE debate over Winchester University's controversial statue has gone national.

Its sculpture of Greta Thunberg which cost £23,760 has not even been unveiled yet.

But the story has already been published in several national newspapers – and today it was slated on Good Morning Britain.

Speaking on the show, journalist Ella Whelan said she disagrees with the sculpture due to Greta's politics.

"When it comes to statues the past year has seen endless discussions about politics so it's important to look at the politics behind Greta Thunberg, particularly the school strikes," she said.

"It's notable that the Student Union at Winchester University is not supporting the unveiling of the statue, they're actually very annoyed about it because there have been library cuts and staff redundancies and are ticked off the uni has spent 24 grand on a statue.

"Whether or not she'll inspire students like the uni intends, well the students don't seem to be happy. More importantly, Greta Thunberg's politics like Extinction Rebellion or school climate strikes are all about anti-innovation. We shouldn't do anything, shouldn't affect the world and the world should be bowed down to."

She added: "Having that kind of inspiration at the uni is not the kind of inspiration that it should want to give to students."

Ms Whelan added that students should be inspired to find ways out of the climate crisis and not just "bow down to nature".

But Asad Rehman who also appeared on the show disputed these comments.

He said: "First of all we need to recognise that we are in the midst of a climate crisis where millions of peoples' lives and livelihoods are being impacted. This is something that has been something that Governments and corporations have been ignoring for decades."

Mr Rehman said that Greta has inspired others to force the climate crisis into Government agendas.

"Ellen speaks slightly disingenuously because her magazine of course is being bankrolled by rich billionaires who don't want action on climate change," he added.

"I think there's a separate issue of the statue itself. I would welcome having more statues which inspire people which recognise that young peoples' actions have changed society."

Artist Christine Charlesworth who was commissioned to make the sculpture also appeared on the show.

She praised the 18-year-old Swedish activist, noting that although she is on the autistic spectrum, she has managed to speak in front of large crowds and make a change in society.

The statue will be unveiled on March 30.