Eighth day of climate protests on M25

Climate activists blocked part of the M25 for an eighth day, causing long queues of traffic.

Insulate Britain supporters glued their hands to the ground at Junction 30 at Thurrock in Essex at around 8am on Thursday.

Essex Police said officers were able to “quickly re-open” one lane, with all lanes open shortly after 10am.

Nine people were arrested on suspicion of obstructing a highway and are being held in custody.

An Essex Police spokesman said: “We know this will have been frustrating for drivers caught in the traffic this caused and we want to thank you for your patience and understanding.”

It is the third day Insulate Britain has protested on the M25 this week, and the eighth this month.

The group, which is calling on the Government to insulate all UK homes by 2030 to cut carbon emissions, said in a statement: “We are raising the tempo this week as, despite the urgency of the situation, there has been no meaningful response from the Government to our demands.

“We are deeply concerned that with rising fuel bills and not enough action on insulation, there will be further unnecessary suffering and deaths among the most vulnerable this winter.

“It’s not just cold and hungry Britain, it’s billions of pounds wasted on fuel costs for everyone.

“Failing to help hardworking families, failing to stop poverty fuel deaths, failing to protect the country we love from the biggest threat it has ever faced.

“We need our Government to keep us safe. Boris, get on with the job.”

Insulate Britain protests
Police officers detain a protester from Insulate Britain occupying a roundabout leading from the M25 motorway to Heathrow Airport in London, earlier this week (Steve Parsons/PA)

The group admitted that its actions “are in breach of a High Court injunction” obtained by the Government last week.

The injunction means anyone blocking the M25 could be found to be in contempt of court, which carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison or an unlimited fine.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said on Wednesday that “reckless protesters” have “already had knocks on their doors”.

He went on: “We are serving papers and those who continue these idiotic, dangerous and counterproductive demonstrations will be caught and face unlimited fines or prison.”

Insulate Britain said several activists have been contacted at home in relation to the injunction.