'They belong in jail': Boris Johnson backs targeting eco-protesters

6 October 2021, 12:16 | Updated: 6 October 2021, 15:24

By James Morris

Boris Johnson has once again attacked eco protesters blocking London's roads – saying they belong in jail.

It comes after the prime minister told LBC on Tuesday that Insulate Britain activists are “irresponsible crusties”.

During his keynote speech today rounding off the Conservative Party conference in Manchester, Johnson was addressing law and order when he turned his attention to Insulate Britain, which in recent weeks has used blockades to cause disruption on key roads in and around London.

He asked: “You know those people glueing themselves to roads? I don’t call them legitimate protesters like some Labour councillors do. I think some Labour councillors actually glue themselves to roads."

He went on to back home secretary Priti Patel's targeting of environmental protesters.

Boris Johnson said Insulate Britain is a 'confounded nuisance'
Boris Johnson said Insulate Britain is a 'confounded nuisance'. Picture: Getty

"I say they are a confounded nuisance who are blocking ambulances, stopping people going about their daily lives.

“I’m glad Priti is taking new powers to ‘insulate’ them snugly in prison where they belong.”

During her speech at the conference on Tuesday, Ms Patel had confirmed plans to increase the maximum penalties for disrupting a motorway, as well as criminalise interference with key infrastructure such including roads.

Read more: Boris Johnson promises to tackle 'underlying problems' when no other Govt had the 'guts' to

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.

On Tuesday, the group "profoundly" apologised for causing "disruption" – but warned it is “going to carry on” with its controversial protests.