25 climate protesters arrested after M25 targeted for second time in a week

Police arrested 25 climate protesters after they blocked parts of the M25, causing huge traffic queues.

Dozens of activists from Insulate Britain, which is demanding Government action on home insulation, stopped traffic on two sections of Britain’s busiest motorway on Wednesday – the second time in three days.

They targeted Junction 23 for South Mimms in Hertfordshire and the main carriageway from Junction 8 at Reigate to Junction 9 at Leatherhead, both in Surrey, at around 8am.

Demonstrators sat on the road, while stranded motorists beeped their horns.

Police said there had also been a crash, involving four vehicles, on another stretch of the motorway.

Videos posted on social media showed angry drivers remonstrating with the activists.

Insulate Britain protests
AA president Edmund King said ‘it is somewhat ironic’ that engineers trying to insulate Britain were stuck in the M25 congestion caused by Insulate Britain (Insulate Britain/PA)

Edmund King, president of motoring insurance group AA, said that during the last Insulate Britain blockade, a thermal insulation engineer was prevented from going to work after being stuck in the traffic queue.

On Wednesday, he said: “Whilst most people understand the need to take action on climate change, these motorway blockade tactics are just backfiring as they are alienating the working public stuck in this chaos and subsequently pumping out more emissions.

“It is somewhat ironic that thermal insulation engineers trying to insulate Britain were stuck in the congestion caused by Insulate Britain.

“Essential deliveries, emergency services, people missing hospital and business appointments are all hit by these blockades.

“Hopefully the police will take immediate action to unblock the arteries of Britain.”

Surrey Police said officers, who were also dealing with a crash on another part of the motorway, have made 25 arrests so far.

The force said in a series of tweets: “We have been working with partner forces across the region including Metropolitan Police to deal with widespread protesters on the M25.

“All protesters have now been cleared from both Junction 8 and 10. A total of 25 arrests have been made.

“We are also dealing with a road traffic collision at Junction 9 of the M25 involving multiple vehicles. Police, fire service and ambulances are currently on the scene.”

Insulate Britain said 89 of its members took part in the action on Wednesday.

It said in a statement: “We demand credible action now.

“Proper jobs for hundreds of thousands of people to start the first real step – to insulate all the homes of this country – which, pound for pound, gives us the biggest reduction in carbon emissions.

“It is a total no-brainer and yet this Government refuses to get on with the job. This is criminal negligence.”

A demonstration by the same group on Monday blocked five junctions of the M25, leading to tens of thousands of drivers being stuck in huge queues of traffic and dozens of arrests.