Greenpeace activists scale Rishi Sunak's £2million mansion in protest against oil and gas expansion

3 August 2023, 09:02 | Updated: 3 August 2023, 12:06

Rishi Sunak has just jetted off to California for a family holiday
Rishi Sunak has just jetted off to California for a family holiday. Picture: Greenpeace/LBC
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Four Greenpeace activists have climbed onto Rishi Sunak's £2million mansion in Yorkshire as a protest against the UK's North Sea oil and gas expansion.

The activists climbed the prime minister's home using ladders and ropes before covering it in oil-black fabric covers.

Two more activists stood in front of Mr Sunak's constituency home with a banner showing the words: "Rishi Sunak - Oil Profits or Our Future?"

It comes after Mr Sunak unveiled moves to press ahead with oil and gas exploration and production in the North Sea.

The Prime Minister will approve hundreds of new licences to drill for fossil fuels off the UK coast as he seeks to hit Labour over the cost of living.

Greenpeace activists outside Mr Sunak's constituency home
Greenpeace activists outside Mr Sunak's constituency home. Picture: Greenpeace

The PM says Labour's energy strategy makes Britain more dependent on Vladimir Putin's Russia.

Philip Evans, Greenpeace UK’s climate campaigner, said: “We desperately need our prime minister to be a climate leader, not a climate arsonist.

"Just as wildfires and floods wreck homes and lives around the world, Sunak is committing to a massive expansion of oil and gas drilling.

"He seems quite happy to hold a blowtorch to the planet if he can score a few political points by sowing division around climate in this country. This is cynical beyond belief.

"Sunak is even willing to peddle the old myth about new oil and gas helping ordinary people struggling with energy bills when he knows full well it’s not true."

Read More: Labour MP forced to apologise after posting picture of Rishi Sunak holding fake pint

Read More: Fury as man who murdered Tory MP Sir David Amess given more than £100,000 in Legal Aid

Protesters on the roof of the PM's home
Protesters on the roof of the PM's home. Picture: LBC

"More North Sea drilling will only benefit oil giants who stand to make even more billions from it, partly thanks to a giant loophole in Sunak’s own windfall tax.

"The experts are clear - we can’t afford any new oil and gas, and the fossil fuel industry certainly doesn’t need another helping hand in destroying the climate.

"What we need is a clean, affordable energy system fit for the 21st century. It’s time for Sunak to choose between Big Oil’s profits or our future on a habitable planet."

Greenpeace activists speak from the top of Rishi Sunak's Yorkshire house

Police are at the North Yorkshire home of Rishi Sunak after it was scaled by Greenpeace activists, a No 10 source said.

They said: "The police are in attendance.

"We make no apology for taking the right approach to ensure our energy security, using the resources we have here at home so we are never reliant on aggressors like (Vladimir) Putin for our energy. We are also investing in renewables and our approach supports 1000s of British jobs."

A spokesperson for North Yorkshire Police said officers were responding to reports of protest activity at a property in Kirby Sigston, near Northallerton. "Our officers are at the scene and managing the situation. We’ll provide a further update in due course."

Police near Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's house in Richmond, North Yorkshire after Greenpeace activists climbed onto it's roof
Police near Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's house in Richmond, North Yorkshire after Greenpeace activists climbed onto it's roof. Picture: Alamy

Former North Yorkshire Police Deputy Chief Constable Peter Walker told LBC he was "astonished" at the "major breach of security".

"I am absolutely astonished that they have been able to gain the access that they have," he said.

"It is clearly, in my view, a major breach of security.

"Obviously, nobody was there to prevent what they were doing and they've had access to the roof as well.

"They have done a protest and don’t appear to have caused any damage but, if free access is being granted to that property, people who wanted to do much more serious things would be able to leave devices, booby traps…I think this is a major failing and it grieves me to say it because it’s my old police force that’s failed."

He added: "I suspect that what has happened is that people have not done their job - in an operational sense - who are much closer to the action.

"But there really does need to be a significant investigation into how this has been allowed to happen."

Greenpeace activists climb Rishi Sunak's Yorkshire house

It comes after Mr Sunak said his daughters are his "ready-made focus group" on climate change during an exclusive phone-in on LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast.

"In the same way I'm explaining it to everyone else listening, I'd make the same case to them," Mr Sunak said.

"We are going to get to net zero but even when we’re there we will still need fossil fuels."

He added: "Like most people, they're not eco zealots, they're open to sensible, practical arguments."

He said the UK's record is "fantastic" when it comes to cutting emissions, adding that among all G7 countries, the UK was the fastest to have decarbonised.

"We should not take any lectures from anybody about our record - our record is fantastic - it's better that everyone else's," he said.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Lloyds banking group is closing more branches in 2024.

Lloyds group to close 45 branches as Labour pledges to keep banks back on the high street - is your local affected?

Hall and Oates

Hall and Oates row: Judge extends pause on Oates’ sale of stake in business

Released prisoner

Israeli military confirms release of six more hostages in Gaza Strip

Hamas has claimed Israel is refusing to take back the bodies of the Bibas family

Hamas releases propaganda video of father of 10-month-old Kfir Bibas saying Israel refuses to take his family's bodies

Police clashed with Legia Warsaw fans

Three officers injured as Polish football fans unleash 'planned and systematic violence' on police ahead of Villa game

William and Kate dazzled on the red carpet as they brushed off Scobie's claims

William and Kate all smiles on red carpet as royals brush aside storm around Omid Scobie's book Endgame

Opec sign

Saudi Arabia extends cut in oil it sends to world in bid to boost prices

An 18-month row over pay, job security and conditions has come to an end, for now

'Provoke us again and we will respond in kind': Mick Lynch issues new threat to government after pay deal halts strikes

Matt Hancock appeared at the Covid inquiry on Thursday

Cummings a 'malign actor' and 'missed opportunities': 11 revelations from Matt Hancock's Covid inquiry appearance

Phillip Hancock

Man executed in Oklahoma over double killing in 2001

Milei has backed his country's claim to the Falklands

Britain 'stands firmly' with Falkland Islands as minister pays visit in fresh warning to Argentina's eccentric president

Matt Hancock gave evidence on Thursday.

Matt Hancock insists he is 'no liar' as he blames 'toxic culture' in No10 for Covid failings

Palestinians line up for food in Rafah, Gaza Strip

Tough talks ahead as Gaza ceasefire holds with more hostages freed

Caolan Gormley was convicted of an offence linked to the deaths of the 39 Vietnamese migrants

Last people smuggler in operation linked to deaths of 39 migrants in Essex lorry jailed for seven years

Mia Schem was released today, with her mother Keren filmed reacting in joy

Baying mob screams at two female hostages released by Hamas, as young captive's mother sobs in joy

Jamie Lynn Spears exited the I'm A Celebrity jungle on medical grounds

Jamie Lynn Spears speaks out after I'm A Celebrity exit after departing jungle on 'medical grounds'