Boris Johnson labels Extinction Rebellion 'crusties' as he calls for protests to stop

8 October 2019, 08:19

Extinction Rebellion protesters at the Cenotaph yesterday
Extinction Rebellion protesters at the Cenotaph yesterday. Picture: PA

By Megan White

Boris Johnson has branded Extinction Rebellion protesters “uncooperative crusties” as he called on them to stop blocking the streets of London.

The Prime Minister told environmental activists to abandon their "hemp-smelling bivouacs” and claimed his security detail warned him he could be egged.

Mr Johnson was speaking at the launch in London of the third volume of Margaret Thatcher's biography by the former editor of The Daily Telegraph, Charles Moore.

He said the Iron Lady had taken the issue of greenhouse gases seriously long before Greta Thunberg was born and called her a “true feminist.”


Protesters blocked Westminster Bridge on Monday
Protesters blocked Westminster Bridge on Monday. Picture: PA

The PM told the event: "I am afraid that the security people didn't want me to come along tonight because they said the road was full of uncooperative crusties and protesters all kinds littering the road.

"They said there was some risk that I would be egged. And so I immediately asked the faint hearts in my private office, 'What would Margaret Thatcher do?'

"If she could take the extraordinary risk of sending a task force halfway around the world through tumultuous seas to recapture the Falklands, I think she would have crossed the road to speak at the Banqueting Hall.

Huge crowds of XR protesters gathered in Westminster
Huge crowds of XR protesters gathered in Westminster. Picture: PA

"I hope that when we go out from this place tonight and we are waylaid by importunate nose-ringed climate change protesters, we remind them that she was also right about greenhouse gases.

"The best thing possible for the education of the denizens of the heaving hemp-smelling bivouacs that now litter Trafalgar Square and Hyde Park would be for them to stop blocking the traffic and buy a copy of Charles's magnificent book so that they can learn about a true feminist, green and revolutionary who changed the world for the better."

The second day of environmental protests takes place today, with crowds also gathering in Berlin, Madrid, Amsterdam and New York.

The Metropolitan Police said that by 9.30pm on Monday, officers had made 280 arrests.

Yesterday's action saw members chain themselves to a hearse and activists erected 'houses' on Westminster and Lambeth bridges.