Grant Shapps threatens prison to Just Stop Oil protesters who block M25

3 August 2022, 13:53 | Updated: 3 August 2022, 15:53

Grant Shapps threatens Just Stop Oil protesters with prison
Grant Shapps threatens Just Stop Oil protesters with prison. Picture: Alamy/Just Stop Oil

By Megan Hinton

Grant Shapps has told climate activists that the Government "will not stand by" while roads are ground to a halt by demonstrators after an injunction was implemented on the M25.

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The Transport Secretary slammed Just Stop Oil protesters for putting lives "at risk" by causing travel chaos on motorways across the country.

He took to social media this afternoon to say: "Just Stop Oil protesters have been served with a National Highways injunction which covers the M25, and could face imprisonment or fines if they breach it by blocking the roads again.

"We will not stand by while lives are put at risk and roads are ground to a halt."

Last month activists blocked two lanes on the M25 causing miles of queues and delays for rush hour commuters.

The climate campaigners declared the M25 "a site of civil resistance against our criminal government".

Two protesters on a gantry above the M25 said the government must "stop all all new gas an oil licences in the North Sea."

Activists called for change after an "extreme heatwave" swept across the UK bringing with it record breaking temperatures of 40C.

Read more: Fresh hosepipe ban for Kent and Sussex after 'extreme weather conditions' triggers record dry spell

Read more: Protesters block M25 and warn that climate change ‘will cause society to collapse'

The injunction came after a third Just Stop Oil supporter was placed on long term remand in prison after being arrested for blocking the M25.

Louise Lancaster, 56, from Cambridge was among five Just Stop Oil supporters who blocked the M25 in three places to demand that the government calls an immediate halt to new oil and gas projects in the UK.

She is due to face trial on 19th August along with two others who have already spent three weeks on remand, Louis McKechnie, 21 and Joshua Smith, 29.

A Spokesperson for Just Stop Oil said: "This is how the government responds to the climate emergency, by locking up those who challenge them, whilst they have their parties, tell their lies and fight amongst themselves.

"Every academic and scientist agrees we have to end new oil and gas. Why is the government betraying us by opening new oil fields?

"They lock us up and leave millions struggling to get to the end of the week, having to choose between heating and eating.  But you can’t imprison a flood, you can’t put a heatwave in the dock, you can’t fine a wildfire. 

"We are not the criminals here. We are upholding a higher moral code – the right to life, of ourselves, of others, of future generations.

"We have made a choice to resist the destruction of humanity, and we are prepared to accept the consequences. We don’t need anyone to feel sorry for us, we need you to join us, to step up and take action."