Eco warriors 'trampling over our way of life and draining police resources' - Home Sec

5 October 2021, 12:09 | Updated: 5 October 2021, 13:07

The Home Secretary used her conference speech to hit out at the protesters
The Home Secretary used her conference speech to hit out at the protesters. Picture: Alamy

By Daisy Stephens

Priti Patel said eco protestors are "trampling over our way of life and draining police resources".

Priti Patel told the Conservative Party conference she planned to increase the maximum penalties for disrupting a motorway, as she criticised Insulate Britain protesters.

The Home Secretary was speaking after Boris Johnson told LBC the eco protesters were "irresponsible crusties."

Read more: ‘Irresponsible crusties’: Boris Johnson lays into eco protesters bringing misery to roads

She said: "It is because of our commitment to putting the needs of the hard-working, often silent, majority first that I will not tolerate so called eco-warriors trampling over our way of life and draining police resources.

"Their actions over recent weeks have amounted to some of the most self-defeating 'environmental' protests this country has ever seen. Freedom to protest is a fundamental right our party will forever fight to uphold. But it must be within the law.

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

"Measures already going through Parliament will ensure these criminals can be brought to justice for the disruption they are causing.

"But we are going further to close down the legal loopholes exploited by these offenders.

"So, today, I can announce I will also increase the maximum penalties for disrupting a motorway, criminalise interference with key infrastructure such as roads, railways and our free press, and give the police and courts new powers to deal with the small minority of offenders intent on travelling around the country, causing disruption and misery across our communities."