Rebellion left 20 TONNES of rubbish on the streets, local MP claims

5 February 2020, 07:59 | Updated: 5 February 2020, 17:34

Local authorities had to pick up 20 tonnes of rubbish from the streets following the protests by Extinction Rebellion last year, this local MP claimed on LBC.

Cities of London and Westminster MP Nickie Aiken told Nick Ferrari that during just the Trafalgar Square demonstration on just one night, six tonnes of rubbish was left.

Ms Aiken was appearing on LBC to support Nick Ferrari's Enough Is Enough campaign, which is urging the government to give police more power to halt protests which will cause serious public disorder.

She told Nick: "The clean-up cost would have been in the hundreds of thousands.

"I can tell you exactly that we picked up 20 tonnes of rubbish left behind by Extinction Rebellion protesters during their time here. But also on one night, when they were camping in Trafalgar Square, six tonnes of rubbish.

"So there is that knock-on effect for local authorities, who don't get the extra money. Westminster Council have to absorb that and it means that they have to take services away from people and businesses."

Nickie Aiken revealed the effect on local councils from the Extinction Rebellion protests
Nickie Aiken revealed the effect on local councils from the Extinction Rebellion protests. Picture: PA / LBC

Referring to Nick's campaign, Ms Aiken said: "I'm more than happy to support the campaign and more than happy to go and talk to the Policing Minister Kit Malthouse to see what we can do there.

"Our young people and children are literally being slaughtered on our streets on a weekly basis. During the two weeks that Extinction Rebellion were here, I saw scores and scores of police officers standing on streets just waiting to see what was going to happen.

"These police officers want to be policing our streets, they want to be stopping the drug dealers, they want to be stopping the crime that is going on.

"That's what we need our police officers to be doing, not standing on the streets, waiting to see if a protest is going to turn nasty."

In response, former policeman and Extinction Rebellion member Richard Ecclestone said:

"The overwhelming majority of the rubbish referred to by Nickie Aiken was personal property that was seized by the police – bins, toilets, tents and accessibility equipment for disabled activists – presumably as a deliberate tactic to make life as uncomfortable as possible for peaceful protesters from Extinction Rebellion.

"This includes the seizure of personal property belonging to protesters at Trafalgar Square under the terms of what we now know was an unlawful Section 14 order.

"We suggest that the Member of Parliament for Cities of London and Westminster takes her complaint to the organisation responsible for generating this rubbish – the Metropolitan Police.

"Extinction Rebellion have an excellent record of clearing up after their protests, when given the opportunity to do so by the police."