Just Stop Oil block roads around Westminster for seventh day

Activists blocked roads in central London for a seventh day as part of their campaign to stop future gas and oil projects from going ahead.

Around 25 supporters of Just Stop Oil sat in the roads to the north and south of Vauxhall Bridge on Friday, where they wore high-vis orange vests and held up orange banners.

The group said people also glued themselves to the road.

Footage taken by the group shows motorists becoming aggravated and dragging people away from their positions on the road.

Other drivers can be seen beeping at activists in one clip, while police are seen speaking to them in another.

At one point, the campaigners were filmed getting up out of their spots to let an ambulance through – a move the group says their supporters always do when they block roads.

Phil Snider, 37, a delivery driver from Southampton, said: “I’m taking action because I looked at the science, read the quotes from Sir David King and the UN and was horrified.

“I’m doing this because I believe we all should do what we can. I’m in a position where I am able to take action, so I am doing this.

“It makes me sick to see climate disasters in the paper… the Government needs to get a grip and stop all new oil production, tax the wealthy and corporations that have caused this disaster and go full pelt in the direction of green energy.”

The Metropolitan Police later said 23 people were arrested on suspicion of wilful obstruction of the highway.

A Just Stop Oil spokesman said: “We will continue in civil resistance because it is the right thing to do when faced with a harmful government.

“The coming weeks will see the disruption in the capital increase until the Government makes a statement to end new oil and gas.

“Beginning the process of winding down fossil fuel production in this country is not rocket science.

“The Government is throwing water on the fire that is destroying our only home.”

The group has coincided its protests with a new round of licensing for oil and gas exploration in the North Sea.

Just Stop Oil supporters protest in London
Police were seen speaking to the protesters earlier today (Just Stop Oil/PA)

The North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) has started the 33rd round of offshore licences.

It estimates more than 100 licences may be granted.

Business and Energy Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg said the licensing will boost the UK’s economy and energy security.

He said: “(Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine means it is now more important than ever that we make the most of sovereign energy resources, strengthening our energy security now and into the future.

“Ensuring our energy independence means exploiting the full potential of our North Sea assets to boost domestic production – recognising that producing gas in the UK has a lower carbon footprint than importing from abroad.

“That is why we welcome the launch of the NSTA’s new licensing round, which will help support highly skilled jobs across the UK’s energy industry, boosting both our energy security and our economy.”