Home Secretary vows to crack down on ‘guerilla’ activism in wake of M25 protests

·2-min read

The Home Secretary has vowed to crack down on “guerilla” activism after an environmental group shut down the M25 five times in just over a week.

Writing for the Daily Mail alongside Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, Priti 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”.

Their comments come after Surrey Police on Tuesday arrested 38 activists from the group who targeted junctions 9 and 10 of Britain’s busiest motorway at 7.57am.

Footage taken at the scene by LBC showed the protesters walking on to the motorway and sitting down on the ground in front of moving traffic.

Some then held up banners reading “Insulate Britain” and poured blue paint on to the road, before they were dragged away by officers.

The paper says an injunction against Insulate Britain is likely to be sought by National Highways in the High Court on Thursday.

In their column, the duo condemned the tactics of the protesters, adding 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.

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

Insulate Britain protests
Surrey Police on Tuesday arrested 38 activists from the group who targeted junctions 9 and 10 of the M25 (Insulate Britain/PA)

“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.”

Insulate Britain confirmed it led the demonstration on Tuesday, adding that new people have joined its campaign to improve home insulation in addition to the others who have been involved in similar demonstrations in Hertfordshire, Kent, Essex and Surrey over the past two weeks.

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

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting