Eco protesters to suspend blocking roads after drivers fight back

14 October 2021, 11:28 | Updated: 14 October 2021, 14:41

Insulate Britain plans to pause its activism
Insulate Britain plans to pause its activism. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

Eco protesters who have infuriated motorists by blocking roads have agreed to suspend campaigning after a Boris Johnson speech.

Insulate Britain have drawn heavy criticism for stunts in which they ran out onto the M25 motorway and blocked access to the Port of Dover.

However, motorists may enjoy some brief respite from their disruption as the group decided to stop campaigning until October 25 - ahead of the crucial COP26 UN climate talks in Glasgow.

It said it made this decision in light of a Boris Johnson speech, made last month to the UN, in which he referred to the planet reaching a "critical turning point".

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The statement also comes a day after a protest in Essex, near the Purfleet ferry terminal, where Insulate Britain activists enraged drivers who took matters into their own hands and dragged them out of the road.

A mother was blocked from taking her 11-year-old son to school and another driver told LBC he had missed a job interview.

In a letter to Mr Johnson, Insulate Britain wrote: "Ahead of COP26, Insulate Britain will suspend its campaign of civil resistance until Monday 25th October.

Drivers clear the road as police are nowhere to be seen

"In light of the speech you made (to the UN on the 22nd September) in which you recognised that "We are approaching that critical turning point – in less than two months – when we must show that we are capable of learning, and maturing, and finally taking responsibility for the destruction we are inflicting, not just upon our planet but ourselves", we ask you to use this time to signal that you believe what you say."

The group wants Britain's social housing to be insulated by 2025, citing fuel poverty and climate reasons, and has demanded the Government makes a “meaningful statement” to that effect.

Public figures have called their demonstrations as dangerous and potentially counter productive, while the prime minister called them "irresponsible crusties".

Speaking earlier this week, Labour’s shadow business secretary Ed Miliband refused to endorse their tactics.

Injunctions ban the protesters from campaigning on the M25 and at the Port of Dover.