On Air Now

On Air Next

Injunction granted against protesters blocking M25, amid warning of prison sentence

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp

National Highways has been granted an injunction against protesters who have been blocking sections of the M25.

The injunction will come into effect later today and means anyone breaching the order could face a prison sentence, the transport secretary has said.

In a tweet, Grant Shapps wrote: “Invading a motorway is reckless & puts lives at risk.

“I asked National Highways to seek an injunction against M25 protestors which a judge granted last night. Effective later today, activists will face contempt of court with possible imprisonment if they flout.”

Speaking to the Transport Committee on Wednesday morning, Mr Shapps said the police are “stepping up their action”, adding that sometimes it is the “same protesters going back again a few days later”.

“The powers don’t allow for police to hold people for more than 24 hours, and that’s creating problems”.

The demonstrators are calling on the government to insulate all of “Britain’s 29 million leaky homes by 2030 and all social housing by 2025”.

More from UK

Spokesperson Liam Norton added: “The idea that people would suddenly decide insulating our leaky homes is a bad idea as a result of our campaign is frankly laughable.

mage courtesy of LBC showing police officers removing Insulate Britain activists from the M25 between junctions 9 and10 where the climate protesters carried out a further action after demonstrations which took place last week across junctions in Kent, Essex, Hertfordshire and Surrey. Picture date: Tuesday September 21, 2021.
Image: mage courtesy of LBC showing police officers removing Insulate Britain activists from the M25 between junctions 9 and10 where the climate protesters carried out a further action after demonstrations which took place last week across junctions in Kent

“We are simply asking the government to get on the job. The people of Britain understand that climate change is a severe threat to everything they hold dear.”

Priti Patel said the “important injunction” would mean “people can get moving again” on the M25.

“We will not tolerate lives being put at risk,” the home secretary said. “Those who continue to do so risk imprisonment.”

Their comments come after Surrey Police arrested 38 protesters from environmental activist group Insulate Britain who targeted junctions 9 and 10 of Britain’s busiest motorway before 8am on Tuesday.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Police remove eco-protesters blocking M25

Footage circulating on social media showed the activists walking onto the motorway and sitting down on the ground in front of moving traffic.

Some then held up “Insulate Britain” banners and poured blue paint onto the road, before being dragged away by police.

Highways England workers on the exit slip road of the M25 motorway near Leatherhead after protestors blocked the road and left paint on it. Picture date: Friday September 17, 2021.
Image: Highways England workers on the exit slip road of the M25 near Leatherhead after protestors poured blue paint on it

In a column published in the Daily Mail today with Mr Shapps, Ms Patel said the Home Office is working with National Highways to take legal action against the Insulate Britain group in a bid to “ensure they cannot keep disrupting and endangering people’s lives”.

The pair condemned the tactics of the protesters and said police have their support to take “decisive action” against any future disruptive demonstrations.

They wrote: “(The protesters) have broken the law, undermined the cause they believe in, alienated the public, and created extra pollution, in one of the most self-defeating environmental protests this country has ever seen.

Protesters from Insulate Britain descended on the clockwise and anti-clockwise carriageway of the M25.
Image: Protesters from Insulate Britain descended on the clockwise and anti-clockwise carriageway of the M25

“We are giving (police) powers to better manage such guerrilla tactics in future.

“In the medium-term, the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill will put public nuisance on a statutory footing, ensuring there are appropriate sentences for the harm caused.”

Police officers work to free protesters who had glued themselves to a slip road at Junction 4 of the A1(M), near Hatfield, where climate activists carried out a further action after demonstrations which took place last week across junctions in Kent, Essex, Hertfordshire and Surrey. Picture date: Monday September 20, 2021.
Image: Police officers work to free protesters who had glued themselves to a slip road at Junction 4 of the A1(M), near Hatfield

Insulate Britain confirmed it led the demonstration on Tuesday, saying more people had joined its campaign to improve home insulation in addition to the others who have been involved in protests in Hertfordshire, Kent, Essex and Surrey over the past fortnight.

The group added that the recent rise in gas and electricity costs has “increased the urgency” for change and vowed to end its campaign as soon as it hears a “meaningful commitment” to its demands.