Dame Emma Thompson and presenter Chris Packham back Just Stop Oil

Dame Emma Thompson, BBC presenter Chris Packham and actors Miranda Richardson and Iwan Rheon have backed the actions of Just Stop Oil, as they took part in a protest persuade politicians to prioritise nature and climate.

They were among an estimated 60,000 people who marched in London to demand political action to tackle what they said was a “nature and climate crisis”.

Asked whether she backs Just Stop Oil, which this week attacked Stonehenge with orange paint, Dame Emma said: “I think I support anyone who fights this extraordinary battle.

“We cannot take any more oil out of the ground. I mean, there’s much argument about it. And I know there’s a lot of very complicated economic arguments about it.

Three people holding a protest banner
Dame Emma Thompson, Dale Vince and Caroline Lucas during a Restore Nature Now protest in central London (Jeff Moore/PA)

“We have to leave all the resources in the ground, we cannot bring them out of the ground.”

Naturalist and BBC Springwatch presenter Mr Packham said of Just Stop Oil: “I do stand behind them because otherwise we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

“And if we’re not having this conversation, then we’re not educating the public, we’re not putting pressure on our politicians to reform policies which are likely to kill us all, children, we’ve got to keep the fossil fuels in the ground.

“And let’s face it, if the politicians were listening to Just Stop Oil and taking on board the valid things that they have to say, because they are only a conduit between the science and the politics, basically, then they’d be out of business. I’m sure they’d all be sat at home having a tea and a scone.”

Head and shoulders shot of Chris Packham
Chris Packham took part in the protest (Aaron Chown/PA)

Ms Richardson said: “They are fuelled by passion, and I don’t think anything really terrible has happened in any of their campaigns.

“It’s not how I choose to act, but in my head, sometimes it is, because nothing is happening faster so far.

“So their call to action, if it raises more awareness, if it pisses people off sometimes that’s a valid thing.

“I don’t think it pushes more people away, just, it can actually make more people join organisations like WWF.

Protesters hold a banner near the Houses of Parliament
Protesters near the Houses of Parliament (Aaron Chown/PA)

“So we don’t want to do that, but we do want to do something. So how can we do it but not do that? So I think hopefully, it’s a win-win.”

Mr Rheon added: “Obviously, it’s important not to alienate people but the message is very clear.

“I think that they’re coming from the end of the spectrum and they want everyone to understand that ‘no, no, this matters if the world doesn’t exist any more’.

“So I get their frustration and I agree.”