'This is not the way': Sadiq Khan criticises eco protesters for 'dangerous' actions

5 October 2021, 19:58 | Updated: 5 October 2021, 21:05

By Emma Soteriou

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has criticised eco protesters for their "dangerous" actions, saying they are "putting people off" the cause.

It comes after activist group Insulate Britain began their eleventh protest in three weeks on Monday, blocking Blackwall Tunnel as well as Hangar Lane, Arnos Grove and Wandsworth Bridge.

Speaking to LBC, Mr Khan said: "I condemn unequivocally the actions of Insulate Britain in relation to the way they've conducted themselves over the last few days.

"I think the issue of climate change, the issue of making sure we have energy-efficient homes, the issue of retrofitting homes so they are properly insulated to emit less carbon - but also to be energy efficient to address fuel poverty - is really important."

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"That's why, in London, we have announced a retrofitting revolution to insulate homes, which creates jobs as well," he went on to say.

"The way these people are protesting is unlawful, it's not peaceful, and it is dangerous.

"What it's doing is putting people off this really important issue. And I say this knowing that Cop26 is around the corner.

"We've got to be mobilising people in a peaceful, lawful, safe way to be lobbying our government and national governments across the globe to do much more.

"This is not the way to do it."

It comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson also condemned the group on Tuesday, telling LBC's Nick Ferrari that they were "irresponsible crusties".

"There are some people, Nick, who call those individuals 'legitimate protester'," he said.

“They’re not. I think they are irresponsible crusties who are basically trying to stop people going about their day’s work and doing considerable damage to the economy."

Home Secretary Priti Patel announced during the Tory conference that she planned to increase the maximum penalties for those disrupting motorways in protest.

Police will also be given additional powers to stop and search activists for "lock-on" equipment used to prevent them from being moved.