Eco-mob apologises for 'disruption' after PM calls them ‘irresponsible crusties’ on LBC

5 October 2021, 11:26 | Updated: 5 October 2021, 12:15

By James Morris

Insulate Britain has "profoundly" apologised for causing "disruption" after Boris Johnson labelled the protesters "irresponsible crusties" on LBC.

However, spokesperson Liam Norton added "the reality of our situation has to be faced" – while another representative, Tim Gough, told LBC the group is “going to carry on” with its controversial eco protests.

It comes as the High Court heard 111 Insulate Britain protesters have been served with an injunction against road-blocking demonstrations.

Meanwhile, home secretary Priti Patel is also set to announce tougher powers against protesters who block roads.

Following the disruption caused on Monday, when Insulate Britain blocked four key routes in London, Mr Johnson labelled the protests "insane" and not legitimate.

The prime minister told Nick Ferrari: “I think they are irresponsible crusties who are basically trying to stop people going about their day’s work and doing considerable damage to the economy."

Mr Norton, speaking today outside the Royal Courts of Justice, said: "We cannot imagine undertaking such acts in normal circumstances. But we believe that the reality of our situation has to be faced."

And Mr Gough pledged to LBC: "The issue is to affect change via the government and we think this [road protests] is an effective way of achieving that. We’re going to carry on until the government actually take concrete action."

Footage recorded by LBC at the Blackwall Tunnel blockade on Monday saw one desperate motorist plead with the activists to move so she could see her mother, who was in an ambulance on the way to hospital in Canterbury, Kent.

Mr Gough acknowledged the inconvenience caused to motorists, but added: "We have to make things irritating and annoying for people in order for the government to take action on this point."

He added any restrictions, or tougher punishments, are "not going to deter any of the people" from future protests.

"I personally am not going out onto the roads, I’m too chicken for that.

"But those people who are going out on the roads, these are very determined people who understand the severity of what we’re talking about here – which is that in 10 to 20 years, we are talking about billions of people being made homeless in the world because 20 per cent of the world’s surface is going to become uninhabitable."

Boris Johnson labelled Insulate Britain protesters 'irresponsible crusties' on LBC
Boris Johnson labelled Insulate Britain protesters 'irresponsible crusties' on LBC. Picture: Matt Crossick/LBC

Mr Gough also laughed off Mr Johnson's "irresponsible crusties" remark. "Boris is a great wordsmith," he said.

Insulate Britain has been carrying out disruptive road protests as part of its demands for the government to provide insulation for 29 million homes and "transition towards full decarbonisation" of society and the economy.