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Police chiefs could try to slap M25 eco mob with conspiracy charges

Do YOU know who these climate ‘anarchists’ are? 

Email tips@dailymail.com or danny.hussain@mailonline.co.uk 

Eco-mob protesters who blocked the M25 for a third time in five days yesterday could now face conspiracy charges with a maximum sentence of five years. 

Police chiefs came under intense pressure for the way they tackled the Insulate Britain protests and Priti Patel summoned Met Commissioner Cressida Dick and other force bosses responsible for the M25 after they failed to drag away protesters ‘immediately’ when up to 80 activists blocked the motorway and also shut down the M3 and M11 as they ran riot.

Shocking video emerged showing an officer stopping traffic to allow protesters onto the motorway earlier this week, with the Met saying he was trying to keep the activists ‘safe’. 

The anger at the police’s handling of the situation was increased after photos emerged showing some protesters attending all three demonstrations, despite being previously arrested. 

Now, senior officers from Hertfordshire, Surrey, Kent, Essex and the Met are considering charging the activists with more serious crimes to ensure they are deterred from further protests.   

Conspiracy to cause public nuisance, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, is thought to be one of the punishments considered. 

One police source told the Telegraph: ‘The disruption involved massively outweighs the offence and the protesters are well aware of that. Most of those involved have been arrested on suspicion of blocking the highway, which is a relatively minor offence.

‘Even if these cases reach the charging threshold for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and it goes to court, the sentences available on conviction are very small. As we saw with some of the Extinction Rebellion protesters, they walk away with conditional discharges, which ends up encouraging others to take similar action.’ 

It comes after the Home Secretary held an emergency Zoom call with police chiefs after protesters from Insulate Britain shut down the UK’s busiest road during rush hour every 48 hours this week and made officers ‘look like idiots’, one Tory MP said.

The enviro-zealots even warned officers they would do it again after being released without bail conditions on Monday and Wednesday – with Hertfordshire Police defending the decision not to charge them claiming they still need time to ‘gather evidence and build a case’ despite arresting dozens of them in the middle of the M25.

Surrey Police’s Chief Constable Gavin Stephens, Kent Police’s Chief Constable Alan Pughsley, Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Chief Constable Charlie Hall and Essex’s Ben-Julian Harrington are all in the firing line over their soft-touch response to the crippling protests.

A spokesman for the Association of British Drivers said: ‘The police have failed to do their duty. It’s time for Chief Constables to decide whose side they’re on. The actions of these people is an absolute bl**dy disgrace. 

‘They should be locked away. I’m appalled about why they have been released on bail with no restrictions. Not only have police not arrested these people for proper offences – they’ve not charged them with anything at all’.

A source close to the Home Secretary told MailOnline that at today’s summit with police chiefs she reiterated her message that ‘these people are breaking the law and must be removed immediately’. The insider did not go into what was discussed about the M25 – and how they would break the cycle of protests –  for ‘operational reasons’. But said: ‘The British public does not expect the police to be standing by while protesters disrupt people’s daily lives.’

Tory MP for South Thanet, Craig Mackinlay MP, said:  ‘I am surprised that the Metropolitan Police Commissioner has not advised her officers to make use of one of numerous possible legal provisions to prevent, remove, arrest and charge the activists within Insulate Britain, Extinction Rebellion and other anarchist groups causing mayhem to the law-abiding public simply trying to go about their normal activities and costing millions in lost business and valuable police time.’

One Tory backbencher told MailOnline: ‘Priti’s tough talking isn’t enough. These protesters are making the police look like idiots and the buck stops with the Home Secretary and her chief constables’. 

Ms Patel is under growing pressure with some drivers taking to social media demanding she ‘sorts this mess out’ or resigns. Others said Boris Johnson should sack her if police continue to ‘fail to keep roads open’.

One said: ‘Police – clear the f**king roads. Keep Britain moving or resign @pritipatel’. Another tweeted a picture of the police guarding the protesters and wrote: ‘@pritipatel – sort it or resign to let someone in who will’. One driver wrote simply: ‘Resign @pritipatel’. 

Priti Patel had ordered police to take ‘decisive action’ against the ‘selfish’ eco-protesters and described the ‘guerrilla tactics’ of Insulate Britain as ‘completely unacceptable’. But critics have demanded to know what she will do to stamp out the problem, and halt the embarrassing cycle of protests, after the eco-warriors completely ignored her. 

Met Commissioner Cressida Dick has been accused of ‘losing control’ of protests again and urged to resign just days after she was granted a two-year extension at Scotland Yard despite her critics including the parents of Stephen Lawrence and Jean Charles de Menezes saying she ‘should have been fired long ago’. One Government source told MailOnline the way it had been handled by the police this week was ‘mental’.  

As officers were shown being soft touch and drivers tried to clear the roads themselves, a Metropolitan Police officer was even filmed helping protesters to walk in front of cars and take their places at junction 25 on the M25 where they calmly sat down and blocked the road on Wednesday.  The Met defended the officer today, saying it was for safety reasons, was a ‘dynamic’ decision and did not facilitate the protest. 

But Insulate Britain said its ‘actions will continue until the Government makes a meaningful commitment to insulate all of Britain’s 29 million leaky homes by 2030, which are among the oldest and most energy inefficient in Europe’. 

An Insulate Britain activist is dragged off the M25 at Brentwood, Essex as they managed more protests on Friday

Members warned officers they would do it again and again after being released without charge or bail conditions

Police arrest activists as protesters from the Insulate Britain pressure group block a roundabout on the M11 yesterday morning

FREE TO RETURN: Climate zealots had boasted of being released after their arrest and despite demonstrating on Monday they were free to cause chaos for motorists again on two more occasions including today. Pictured: The man is pictured protesting on the M25 on Monday (left) and arrested again on Wednesday (centre) and now Friday (right) 

Specialist officers have been brought in to break up the protests quickly – including this one on the M11 near Stansted but drivers caught in the queues believe it is too little too late

Highways England workers on the exit slip road of the M25 motorway near Leatherhead after protestors blocked the road and left paint on it

But the eco-warriors did shut it at junction 9 – and daubed the carriageway with blue paint saying ‘IB’ – short for Insulate Britain

Officers took action after being called soft touch and were criticised because irate drivers were forced to take the law into their own hands – but Essex Police did stop them today 

But Surrey Police failed to stop them doing the same for the third morning today, with a group now sitting on the junction 9 (pictured)  sliproad with long queues already building on the main carriageway 

How can you complain to the police about their handling of the protests? 

If you want to complain about the police’s handling of the protests, you can contact each of the four forces involved this week by clicking on the links below:

Surrey Police – Chief Constable Gavin Stephens  

Complaints link: Click here

Email: surreychiefconstable@surrey.pnn.police.uk

Metropolitan Police  Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick  

Complaints Link: Click here: 

Email: Comm.PO@met.police.uk

Kent Police – Chief Constable Alan Pughsley

Complaints link: Click here

Email: cc@kent.pnn.police.uk

Hertfordshire Constabulary – Chief Constable Charlie Hall)

Complaints link: Click here

Email: Charlie.hall@herts.pnn.police.uk

You can also complain directly to the Independent Office for Police Conduct watchdog – click here 

The mob from Insulation Britain turned up to blockade junction 28 at Brentwood at around 8.30am on Friday but officers from Essex Police were waiting for them and arrested them before they could start their protest. 

A small number broke through but they were then dragged away within minutes and thrown into patrol cars yelling at officers about their rights and saying: ‘What you are doing is illegal’.  Irate drivers were seen rowing, jostling and even spitting at the protesters on the M11 at J8 near Stansted this morning before more Essex officers dragged the troublemakers off the road.

Free to cause more misery: Why are eco mob protestors STILL being released by police to cause days of M25 rush-hour chaos? 

Police were today accused of failing to do their jobs and letting the environmentalists shutting down the M25 off the hook by not arresting them for more serious criminal offences. 

The decision to arrest the suspects for a lesser crime such as blocking a road has meant that there has been a revolving door of eco-warriors being released and then heading straight back to the M25. 

Officers have been holding them on suspicion of public nuisance and wilful obstruction offences, which police admit means ‘there is no power in law to remand them’.  

These crimes are often only punished with a fine from magistrates – and suspects are rarely held in custody. Instead there are more serious offences that could keep suspects in custody for longer. 

The first is Breach of the Peace, which can be used as a reason for arrest ‘if the consequence of your actions provoke others to use violence and the police reasonably believe a breach of the peace is about to happen, they can arrest you to prevent it’. 

Most people arrested for breach of the peace are held until the threat of a breach of the peace is over. In rare cases police can take a detainee to a magistrate’s court to seek a ‘bind-over’ – an order from a magistrate from the defendant that the suspect will keep the peace for a proportionate period of time 

The other offence, used in anti-fracking protests in the past is ‘obstruction of an officer’, which includes doing an act that forces the officer away from their duties.  This could be used on those who glued themselves to the highways.

Police arrested a large number of the Insulate Britain activists under this law, but no one has been charged. There were also arrests for the common law offence of public nuisance, and conspiracy to cause danger to road users under section 22A of the Road Traffic Act 1988. 

Hertfordshire Police said in a statement: ‘With the offences they were arrested for on Monday there is no power in law to remand them. They will face a court when the CPS have agreed that there is sufficient evidence to charge them with an offence, for which we need to gather evidence and build a case, considering the actions taken by all the protesters’. 

Obstruction of a British road ‘without lawful authority or excuse’ is an offence under Section 137 of the Highways Act 1980.

Police arrested a large number of the Insulate Britain activists under this law, but no one has been charged. There were also arrests for the common law offence of public nuisance, and conspiracy to cause danger to road users under section 22A of the Road Traffic Act 1988.

If police had been given the Crown Prosecution Service’s go ahead, they could have charged the activists with the obstruction offence and sent them to a magistrates’ court where they could be punished with a fine.

There were also successful protests at J3 and J9 of the M25 as well a group at J1 of the M3. Some threw blue paint on the road, which led to police deciding to shut junctions for even longer to clean it off. 

One protester called Sandy, 31, who works as a teacher, told The Sun Online: ‘On Monday and Wednesday there was a lot of screaming at us from motorists. Today, we’re well protected by the police and there’s less opportunity for it.’

The activist said she had now been arrested three times next week, adding: ‘I feel calm. It’s out of my hands now. If I’m released, I will come back here. Losing my job is a small concern compared to what’s coming if we don’t lower our carbon emissions.’

Another activist Oliver, 41, from London, added: ‘The police wouldn’t interview us when they arrested us earlier this week – they all just released us with no bail conditions. I told two officers I was going out to commit the crime again. They just advised against it.’

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps urged police to take ‘swift action to clear the roads’. He wrote on Twitter: ‘This is dangerous and counterproductive. We all agree that climate change must be tackled, but this sort of behaviour achieves nothing, puts drivers at risk and INCREASES pollution. I expect the police to take swift action to clear the roads.’  

One officer holding two young women by the arms told them ‘not to move’ or they would go into cuffs. Several of the people arrested have been held for the third time – and were filmed being dragged off the road within minutes, rather than the hours it has taken earlier in the week.

But Surrey Police failed to stop them doing the same for the third morning today, with a group now sitting on the junction 9 sliproad with long queues already building on the main carriageway. They also dumped blue paint on the highway. 

They were are also at junction three at Swanley in Kent while a group also popped up at junction 1 of the M3, at Sunbury and at junction 8 of the M11 near Stansted.

There is anger that they have been repeatedly arrested then released.

Hertfordshire Police said in a statement: ‘With the offences they were arrested for on Monday there is no power in law to remand them. They will face a court when the CPS have agreed that there is sufficient evidence to charge them with an offence, for which we need to gather evidence and build a case, considering the actions taken by all the protesters’.

It came as Priti Patel last night ordered police to take ‘decisive action’ against the ‘selfish’ eco-protesters and described the ‘guerrilla tactics’ of Insulate Britain as ‘completely unacceptable’ after the eco-group held traffic at four of the busiest junctions of the M25 on Wednesday. They shut five on Monday and at least two so far on Friday.   

Ms Patel said the police had the Government’s full support. But she warned: ‘They must uphold the law and take decisive action. This kind of disruption is dangerous and takes police away from communities where they are needed most.’ 

She also took warned the Government would ‘not allow selfish protesters’ to disrupt the lives of Britons, adding: ‘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.’  

Ms Patel also vowed to target disruptive protests such as Insulate Britain’s with the Government’s new Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts bill. 

Under the proposals, which are due to go before the House of Lords next week, police will be given greater powers to impose conditions on protests, allowing officers to close down demonstrations quicker.

Now will Priti sack Cressida? Astonishing video shows Met police HELPING eco-mob block M25 because he was ‘concerned for their safety’ 

Priti Patel last night ordered police to take ‘decisive action’ against ‘selfish’ eco-warrior protesters who blocked Britain’s busiest road twice in three days

Astonishing footage has emerged showing a Metropolitan Police officer stopping traffic to help an eco-mob onto the M25 before they brought Britain’s busiest road to a standstill for the second time in three days.   

In the footage, from Junction 25 of the motorway on Wednesday, the officer waved through traffic to clear a backlog before stopping vehicles to allow protesters to walk out into the road and sit down.  

The Met Police defended its tactics and told MailOnline that the officer was concerned for the ‘safety of the group’ and was not ‘facilitating’ the protest. 

A spokesperson said: ‘We are aware of video footage showing an officer deployed as part of our response to the protests on the M25 on Wednesday, 15 September. The footage shows a portion of the entire interaction between the officers and protesters, and not the entirety of the police intervention.

‘The officer made a dynamic risk assessment given concern of the intention on the part of the protesters to enter onto a fast moving road which would have rendered them and others to danger. In doing this, the protesters were moved to a safe area where they were arrested shortly after.’

However, the footage appears to make a mockery of Priti Patel‘s order for police to take ‘decisive action’ against the ‘selfish’ eco-protesters.

Organisers who breach conditions will face up to six months in prison, while fines of up to £2,500 will be handed out to those who take part in ‘illegal’ protests. 

By Midday police had arrested at least 58 protesters after they blockaded the M25 for the third time in a week.

Kent Police confirmed it had made 10 arrests of activists who had blocked the M25 exit slip road at Junction 3 at the Swanley Interchange.

Officers were called at around 8.20am today/yesterday [FRI] to reports that protesters were obstructing the road at junction 3 of the Swanley Interchange.

The activists were arrested and remain in custody.

Surrey Police said it had made 14 arrests in connection to the protest at Leatherhead and 10 at the M3 interchange and 10 arrests at junction 1 of the M3.

Essex Police said a total of 24 people had been arrested – 15 on the M25 and another 9 people on the M11.

Activists were pictured sat in a line across the road, wearing fluorescent orange hi-vis vests and holding ‘Insulate Britain’ banners.

In Essex, officers prevented 12 protesters from the campaign group from making it onto the road at the Brook Street roundabout near Brentwood.

But a further eight climate protestors managed to partially block the road.

Further activists blockaded the M11 at the junction with the A120 in Essex.

Essex Police said a total of 24 people had been arrested – 15 on the M25 and another 9 people on the M11.

It is the third time this week that activists have blocked the UK’s busiest road – causing commuters heavy delays.

Insulate Britain said many of the protestors had only been released by police hours before they returned to the roads. 

It comes as members of the eco-group warned officers they would do it again after being released the first time and vowed to hold a third protest ‘as soon as possible’ in another humiliation for soft-touch police.

Insulate Britain also revealed that officers have only bailed 17 of the 181 activists – many of whom have already been arrested on two occasions – meaning that they are free to try to block Britain’s busiest motorway again. 

In a statement the group, an offshoot of Extinction Rebellion demanding Boris Johnson pays for all social housing to be fully insulated, said: ‘People from Insulate Britain involved in blocking the M25 on Wednesday and released from custody this morning told the police that they would repeat the protest as soon as possible. 

‘In the early hours of this morning, 89 people were released from several different custody centres across South East England, despite informing officers of their intent to continue taking action until the government gets on with the job of insulating the nation’s leaky homes. 

‘The majority were released (yesterday) without bail conditions. Some were released despite having broken bail conditions imposed on Monday which prohibited their return to the highway. 

‘Before being released from custody (yesterday) the campaigners handed the police a clear personal statement of their intent to continue taking action until the government agrees to their demands. They were told by police that the statements would be held ‘on their files”.  

Angry motorists argued and jostle with activists and were turned away by police as protesters from the Insulate Britain pressure group block a roundabout near Stansted Airport – but they smiled as police dragged the activists off

One motorist tried to explain the chaos they were causing for the public trying to get on with their jobs

The protesters laid as still as possible to make it harder for officers to get them off the highway

Highways England workers on the exit slip road of the M25 motorway near Leatherhead after protestors blocked the road and left paint on it to cause delays when they were removed

Essex Police were the first force to be proactive  and grab protesters on verges and on the road 

Officers managed to avert delays by ensuring traffic could still pass through

But there were major problems in Surrey  with queues at junction 9 for Leatherhead

Priti Patel last night ordered police to take ‘decisive action’ against ‘selfish’ eco-warrior protesters who blocked Britain’s busiest road twice in three days as the Met were accused of helping them

The Home Secretary (pictured yesterday during a visit to the Port of Dover) described the ‘guerrilla tactics’ of Insulate Britain as ‘completely unacceptable’ after the group held traffic at four junctions of the busiest junctions of the M25 on Wednesday

Left taken MONDAY, right WEDNESDAY. Circled are members of the Insulate Britain protest group that shut down motorways on Monday and yesterday, despite being arrested by police

Among those who shut down the M25 at its busiest junctions twice in 48 hours despite being arrested were Cameron Ford, a 30-year-old carpenter, and climate activist and retired doctor Bing Jones. Other ringleaders included an organic farmer who compares himself to Mahatma Gandhi, a puppeteer, a vegan ‘business coach’ and a ‘rebel’ IT project manager.  

Police meanwhile have been accused of failing to enforce the law after it was revealed that eco-extremists arrested for shutting down the M25 during the Monday morning rush hour were simply set free without bail conditions and allowed to do the same 48 hours later as officers again ‘stood around for hours before doing anything’. 

One officer sparked outrage after she addressed a group of activists breaking the law by blocking the road and told them: ‘If you have got any questions at all just ask. And if any of you are in any discomfort or need anything just let me know and we will try and sort you out in a nice way’. 

There have 181 arrests in total – for offences including public nuisance, obstructing the highway and conspiracy to cause danger to road users – but that figure includes those held twice in three days.

Surrey Police said officers 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. 

Jerry Westerman, Chief Superintendent with Surrey Police, the force that made the most arrests, appealed for witnesses who may have dashcam footage.

He said: ‘I appreciate that these protests have caused considerable inconvenience and frustration for those caught up in the traffic delays and I can assure you that we are continuing to gather evidence and ensure that those who break the law are brought to justice.

‘I would like to thank all those motorists who got caught up in the delays, both yesterday and on Monday, while we dealt with the incident, for their co-operation and patience.

‘We are continuing to appeal to anyone who witnessed either incident or anyone with any dashcam footage to come forward as you may be able to help us progress our investigation.’

The Met meanwhile 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. 

Met Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor said: ‘It is our view that this behaviour is unsafe and irresponsible, creating risk for themselves, other road users and officers.’ 

Kent Police previously said officers arrested 21 people for obstructing the highway on Wednesday, and Hertfordshire Constabulary said it made 18 arrests.

The Met were asked whether there were any overlaps in arrest figures given by each force, but could not confirm.

Hertfordshire Police said 18 people were arrested for causing disruption on Wednesday – but confirmed they have already released under investigation and subject to community protection notice warnings. 

However Defence Secretary Ben Wallace yesterday told LBC’s Nick Ferrari that police should have acted ‘more swiftly’ to remove the assembled eco-mob who caused traffic chaos on one of Britain’s busiest motorways. 

He said: ‘I think that getting a swift resolution to those people sitting in the way of the M25 and not getting in the way of people, many people who are paid by the hour and don’t have sympathetic bosses. Why should they lose their livelihood because somebody wants to sit in the middle of the road?’       

Climate activist and retired doctor Bing Jones was caught on camera on both Monday (left) and Wednesday (right) after he was arrested by police for blockading J23 of the M25

Among those protesting on both days was Cameron Ford, a 30-year-old carpenter (pictured left, on Monday) who obstructed Britain’s busiest motorway again on Wednesday (right)

A giggling protester laughs as he sits on the road at junction 3 of the M25 in Swanley, Kent, on Monday, before he is pictured again in a red jacket near a Dartford Crossing roundabout on Wednesday (right)

Earlier this week a handful of climate zealots had boasted of being released after their arrest and despite demonstrating on Monday they were free to cause chaos for motorists again later in the week. One protestor wore the same hat to separate incidents on Monday (left) and Wednesday (right)

One activist involved in Monday’s demo even boasted to Nick Ferrari on LBC that he had been released by police and not prevented from protesting on Wednesday, comparing the cause to that of Martin Luther King, the Suffragettes and Mahatma Gandhi.      

Furious Conservative MPs Ian Liddell-Grainger and Craig Mackinlay slammed police for ‘standing around for hours at a time before doing anything’ and urged officers to ‘use the powers available to them to clear this protest immediately’. Mr Liddell-Grainger backed ‘much tougher sentences’ for ‘arrogant and stuck-up’ climate anarchists who ’cause immense harm to people’s lives and livelihoods’. 

‘They should have a criminal record and everybody should be made aware of the damage and misery they cause,’ Mr Liddell-Grainger raged. ‘Their whole plan, of sowing chaos to our lives in this way, just won’t fly with the British public because they don’t kowtow to bullies. 

‘They cannot be allowed to hijack the conversation by threatening to destroy livelihoods if they don’t get their own way. If they have a grievance, they should take it up with their Member of Parliament in the lawful, peaceful way. They can’t just throw a tantrum and sit in the road at whatever cost to other people. If they can’t be adults in this conversation, they shouldn’t be in the conversation at all.’   

On Monday and Wednesday, the same protesters freely blocked motorway junctions and roundabouts across the M25, A3 and Dartford Crossing – and remained free to do so before being arrested, hours later.  

In total, more than 165 arrests have been made by Kent, Hertfordshire, Surrey and Met police forces over the two days of action – but every activist appears to have been fallowed to walk free from custody and return to the road.   

A group on Twitter called UK Police Pensioners United accused officers of ‘aiding and abetting’ the M25 protest by ‘slow reactions and decisions’. It said: ‘None of the M25 forces covered themselves in glory.’ 

Asked why police had failed to act sooner, the Home Office bizarrely said the chaos was a ‘cross-government’ matter for both itself and the Department of Business and Energy. 

The climate zealots yesterday boasted of being released after their arrest and despite demonstrating on Monday they were free to cause chaos for motorists again yesterday. 

Farmer Roger Hallam, 55, who helped found Extinction Rebellion, before leaving to joining protest organiser Insulate Britain, wants to ‘bring down all the regimes in the world’, starting with Britain, and believes those running society ‘should have a bullet through their heads’. 

There have been allegations of a ‘cult-like’ following for the Welshman who compares his tactics to those of heroic activists Gandhi and Martin Luther King. He is said to have been inspired to take up climate activism after his farm in Wales went bust due to bad weather.  

Ironically, Mr Hallam owns a farmhouse which was described as ‘poorly insulated’ in an official energy performance certificate. His 2,000 sq ft farmhouse in Carmarthen, South Wales, was given the lowest possible energy rating on the certificate. It is unclear if Mr Hallam has taken steps to improve the rating since it was issued six years ago. 

Asked about the certificate last night, a spokesman for the group said: ‘This is the point – UK homes are the leakiest in Europe, with many millions of families being unable to afford the advice and help needed to insulate the building they live in.’

Joining Mr Hallam was David McKenny, 38, from Cambridge, who was one of six XR protesters who ‘doorstepped’ TV wildlife expert Sir David Attenborough, 95, at the height of pandemic after he criticised their tactics. The group posted a letter through Sir David’s door as he isolated due to his age last year. 

Vegan business coach Zoe Cohen, 51, from Lymm, Cheshire, said she joined yesterday’s action to demand ‘real action’ from ministers. She was involved in XR’s takeover of central London last month. 

Ms Cohen said then: ‘We are more scared of the reality of what this system is doing to ending life on Earth and ending our future and our children’s future than we are of spending a night in a cell.’ She describes herself as a ‘carbon literate coach’ and ‘XR catalyser’ on social media. 

Janine Eagling, 60, from London, helped to block the M25 and A13 junction yesterday. She has been involved with XR since 2018, helping to form blockades across Waltham Forest. 

The IT project manager describes herself online as a ‘world citizen’ and ‘rebel’ as well as a cyclist, walker and gardener. She has overseen IT projects at top universities and was part of a campaign to improve safety for cyclists in the capital. 

Liam Norton, 36, a London electrician who helped organise the protest, said he was ‘shocked at the lack of significant action from our Government’. 

He became involved in climate activism in 2018 when he helped blockade five bridges in the capital and went on to join XR’s ‘actions team’, which is responsible for planning civil disobedience. He was convicted over blocking printing presses last year. 

He delayed court proceedings by gluing himself to a table. It took three hours for police to remove him and the stunt is thought to have cost the taxpayer thousands of pounds.

He told Good Morning Britain: ‘The government is not looking after their citizens. We are. 

‘We’ve got a plan to insulate Britain that gives you the best value for money in terms of reducing emissions. Hundreds of thousands of meaningful jobs will be created.’

Another protester, Steve Gower, 54, from Gloucester, is unemployed but describes himself as a volunteer advocate for the homeless and is an active Unite union campaigner. 

Last summer Gower was ordered to pay £267 by a magistrate after he dropped a cigarette in the street while visiting a Jobcentre. He said that the fine spiralled because he couldn’t afford the reduced fine of £75 and was told there was no opportunity to pay in instalments.  

He was joined at the M25 road blockage by Eli Rose, 26, who spent 16 days in a tree last September to protest the HS2 rail link. 

Ms Rose lived in the tree in Parliament Square because she ‘cannot bear’ knowing her potential future children will be born ‘into a world where they will have to battle through food shortages and drought.’  

It comes as officers took more than two-and-a-half hours to clear off climate protesters who were obstructing Britain’s busiest motorway yesterday in videos that sparked fury online.

In one clip, a female officer politely tells activists: ‘If any of you have any questions, or are in any discomfort or need anything, just let us know’ – while stricken motorists couldn’t get to work, hospitals and appointments.

Another video showed an officer standing with his hands in his pockets on his own and being met with silence after asking the demonstrators which of them had organised Wednesday’s protest. 

He then told them, ‘I’m going to have to ask you to move’ before awkwardly leaving. 

Meanwhile, police had to restrain incensed truck drivers who desperately tried to move eco-warriors who had glued their hands to the road. 

Chief Superintendent Richard Liversidge, of Herts Police, said: ‘Police received calls alerting us to a protest near junction 1 (South Mimms) of the A1M shortly after 8am on Wednesday. Patrolling officers were at the scene by 8.08am and were faced with a challenging situation in which protestors had blocked the carriageway and glued themselves to the tarmac. 

Mastermind: Organic farmer and activist Roger Hallam, 55, who helped found Extinction Rebellion

Steve Gower, 54, pictured in a ‘Team Corbyn’ T-shirt from Gloucester, is one of the ringleaders of yesterday’s protests

Liam Norton (left), 36, an electrician; and Zoe Cohen (right), 51, a self-employed mother, are both part of Insulate Britain

Video shared on Twitter showed one police officer arriving at the sit-down on his own and awkwardly being met with silence after asking the demonstrators which of them organised Wednesday’s protest

Motorists attempt to move activists as protesters from Insulate Britain block a roundabout near the Dartford crossing

Police attempt to remove a protestor who had glued her hand to the road on the M25 on Wednesday

Now will Priti sack Cressida? Astonishing video shows Met police HELPING eco-mob block M25 because he was ‘concerned for their safety’ so made a ‘dynamic risk assessment’ – in mockery of Home Secretary’s order for officers to take ‘decisive action’

Astonishing footage has emerged showing a Metropolitan Police officer stopping traffic to help an eco-mob onto the M25 before they brought Britain’s busiest road to a standstill for the second time in three days.   

In the footage, from Junction 25 of the motorway on Wednesday, the officer waved through traffic to clear a backlog before stopping vehicles to allow protesters to walk out into the road and sit down.  

The Met Police defended its tactics and told MailOnline that the officer was concerned for the ‘safety of the group’ and was not ‘facilitating’ the protest. 

A spokesperson said: ‘We are aware of video footage showing an officer deployed as part of our response to the protests on the M25 on Wednesday, 15 September. The footage shows a portion of the entire interaction between the officers and protesters, and not the entirety of the police intervention.

‘The officer made a dynamic risk assessment given concern of the intention on the part of the protesters to enter onto a fast moving road which would have rendered them and others to danger. In doing this, the protesters were moved to a safe area where they were arrested shortly after.’

However, the footage appears to make a mockery of Priti Patel‘s order for police to take ‘decisive action’ against the ‘selfish’ eco-protesters.

The Home Secretary last night described the ‘guerrilla tactics’ of Insulate Britain as ‘completely unacceptable’ after the eco-group held traffic at four of the busiest junctions of the M25 on Wednesday.

Ms Patel said the police had the Government’s full support, but warned: ‘They must uphold the law and take decisive action. This kind of disruption is dangerous and takes police away from communities where they are needed most.’ 

The shocking footage comes just days after Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick had her contract extended by the Home Secretary, despite widespread opposition amid a series of scandals. 

She has now been accused of ‘losing control’ of protests again and is facing further pressure to resign just days after she was granted a two-year extension at Scotland Yard despite her critics including the parents of Stephen Lawrence and Jean Charles de Menezes saying she ‘should have been fired long ago’. One Government source told MailOnline the way it had been handled by the police this week was ‘mental’.

Piling pressure on today, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps called the M25 climate protests ‘dangerous and counterproductive’ and urged police to take ‘swift action to clear the roads’.  

Insulate Britain protesters appeared emboldened by the apparent lack of consequences for their actions and descended on Britain’s motorways for a third time today. Around 80 blocked two junctions of the M25 for the third time in five days this morning, while another group hit the M3 for the first time.  

Wednesday’s protest was the second this week from the group, who are demanding Government action on home insulation.  

And the Home Secretary claimed the Government would ‘not allow selfish protesters’ to disrupt the lives of Britons, adding: ‘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.’ 

Despite her strong words, protesters swarmed over motorways again this morning.

Priti Patel last night ordered police to take ‘decisive action’ against ‘selfish’ eco-warrior protesters who blocked Britain’s busiest road twice in three days

The Home Secretary (pictured yesterday during a visit to the Port of Dover) described the ‘guerrilla tactics’ of Insulate Britain as ‘completely unacceptable’ after the group held traffic at four junctions of the busiest junctions of the M25 on Wednesday

Ms Patel also vowed to target disruptive protests such as Insulate Britain’s with the Government’s new Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts bill. 

Under the proposals, which are due to go before the House of Lords next week, police will be given greater powers to impose conditions on protests, allowing officers to close down demonstrations quicker.

Organisers who breach conditions will face up to six months in prison, while fines of up to £2,500 will be handed out to those who take part in ‘illegal’ protests.   

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