Ireland East MEP Mairead McGuinness has criticised the format of a special hearing on global warming and food policy due to take place in the European Parliament tomorrow with former Beatle and now environmental campaigner Paul McCartney.

Describing what is due to take place as a ‘media circus without the animals,’ Ms McGuinness said that Mr McCartney will not have any opportunity to hear or participate in the panel discussion on climate change and the livestock sector.

Instead, he will arrive in the Parliament at 10.30am and, in what is a very carefully choreographed event, will hold 'side bar' meetings, including photos opportunities.

Meanwhile, MEPs will actually debate the issue in Parliament.

Ms McGuinness said it is a slight on democracy that Mr McCartney gets a platform to promote his meat-free lifestyle without placing himself in a position to at least listen to valid counter arguments.

‘While I think it is extremely unlikely that Sir Paul would change his mind, she said, the least we might expect is that he would actually listen to what we have to say’.

The MEP said the really serious side of this is that, yet again, we have celebrity status dictating not just policy but also protocol.

Ms McGuinness has been invited to a lunch with Paul McCartney, which she has been told will be meat-free.