M25 climate protest: Patel criticises ‘selfish' activists for ‘guerilla tactics'

© via REUTERS

Members of Insulate Britain blocked parts of the M25 on Wednesday – the second such protest in a week

– via REUTERS

Priti Patel has criticised M25 climate protesters as “selfish” as police are appealing for more footage of the demonstration amid a series of arrests.

Protesters from Insulate Britain stopped thousands of motoristson Britain’s busiest motorway shortly after 8am on Wednesday for the second time in three days.

The demonstrators, including some who had glued themselves to the road, were demanding Government action on home insulation.

Scores of protesters were held on Wednesday by officers deployed from four forces – Surrey Police, Hertfordshire Constabulary, Kent Police and the Met – and totals given by each force suggest 86 were arrested overall.

The home secretary hasn ow spoken out against the “guerrilla tactics” used by protesters which she said “detract from their cause”.

She said: “Peaceful protest is a cornerstone of our democracy and there will always be space for legitimate groups to make their voices heard.

“But this Government will not stand by and allow a small minority of selfish protesters to cause significant disruption to the lives and livelihoods of the hard-working majority.

“The guerrilla tactics used by Insulate Britain detract from their cause and I know the public will agree that the scenes on the M25 this week were completely unacceptable.”

Surrey Police has appealed for witnesses who may have dashcam footage.

The force said made 33 arrests at Junctions 8 and 10 for offences including public nuisance, obstructing the highway and conspiracy to cause danger to road users.

Of these arrests, 12 were released under investigation, while 21 were released on conditional bail.

The Met said officers arrested 14 people at Junction 25 for obstructing the public highway, following another 17 who were involved in the previous protest on Monday at Junction 14.

The force identified three people they suspect were the organisers as a 55-year-old man at an address in Walworth, a 45-year-old woman at an address in Milton Keynes, and a 49-year-old man at a location in Torquay.

They were arrested for conspiracy to cause public nuisance over the first protest.

Insulate Britain said 89 of its members took part in the demonstration on Wednesday.

It said in a statement: “We demand credible action now.

“Proper jobs for hundreds of thousands of people to start the first real step – to insulate all the homes of this country – which, pound for pound, gives us the biggest reduction in carbon emissions.

“It is a total no-brainer and yet this Government refuses to get on with the job. This is criminal negligence.”

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