How the SAME eco-zealots have been blocking the M25 day after day

The USUAL suspects: How the SAME shameless eco-anarchists have been blocking the M25 day after day – as Priti Patel vows to JAIL hellraisers and end chaos for good

  • Pictures reveal how some Insulate Britain eco-zealots have attended at least three protests on the M25 
  • One to attend multiple protests is retired Rochdale reverend Mark Coleman who was seen again  yesterday
  • Others, including reverend Sue Parfitt have been seen attending at least two of the eco-group’s M25 protests
  • It comes as Priti Patel and Grant Shapps instructed officials seek injunction against eco-mob Insulate Britain
  • Injunction would mean protesters facing potential instant jail term for contempt if they try to block the M25

Several members of eco-mob Insulate Britain have attended multiple road-blocking demonstrations on the M25 – despite police vowing to get tough on protesters.

Pictures show some eco-zealots from the group – who are demanding the Government pay for insulation in social housing – have attended at least three of the five protests carried out by the group over the past nine days.

It comes as Priti Patel and Grant Shapps last night instructed officials to seek an injunction against Insulate Britain. If granted protesters will face arrest and a potential instant jail term for contempt of court.

Under current laws police are arresting the eco-protesters on suspicion of minor offences – such as causing public nuisance or willful obstruction.

But because these offences do not allow police to remand members of the eco-mob, officers are forced to bail the protesters. They are then free to return to the motorway.

One repeat protester is retired reverend Mark Coleman, who stepped down as vicar and borough dean of Rochdale last year.

Mr Coleman, who is said to have joined climate change group Extinction Rebellion in 2015 after the Rochdale floods, has been spotted at three protests.

He was seen at the first, on Monday 13, before returning to protest on Wednesday, 15.

Mr Coleman, who made headlines when he vandalised Heywood and Middleton MP Chris Clarkson’s constituency office earlier this year before staging a two-hour sit in, was also involved in yesterday’s Insulate Britain protest at junction 10.



One repeat protester is retired reverend Mark Coleman, who stepped down as vicar and borough dean of Rochdale last year. He was seen at the first, on Monday 13, before returning to protest on Wednesday, 15. Mr Coleman was also involved in yesterday’s Insulate Britain protest at junction 10. 



The same activist seen at protests on three separate days on the M25 over the last week



The same activist seen at protests on three separate days on the M25 over the last week


The same activist seen at protests on two separate days on the M25 over the last week


The same activist seen at protests on two separate days on the M25 over the last week


Reverend Sue Parfitt returned to the protests yesterday, after being spotted protesting with Insulate Britain during their first protest on September 13. Pictured left: Rev Parfitt today and right: On September 13

Other protesters, who have not yet been identified, have also been seen on three occasions, while others have been seen on at least two occasions.

Reverend Sue Parfitt was back among the protesters on the M25 yesterday. The retired family therapist, 79, from Bristol was spotted being led away by police with blue paint on her hands. 

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Ms Parfitt, who was once arrested as part of the 2019 Extinction Rebellion protest in London, was seen at Insulate Britain’s first M25 protest on September 13.

Corbynista Steve Gower was also back among the protesters on the M25 on Tuesday. The 54-year-old is one of the ringleaders of Insulate Britain. 

The group yesterday sparked fury by running out into flowing traffic on the M25 near junction 10 for Woking yesterday.

After the group boasted that: ‘Some new people joined the protest this morning along with some who have participated in all five actions to date.’

Last night Priti Patel and Grant Shapps instructed officials to seek an injunction against Insulate Britain. They are said to be ‘furious’ at the eco-activists who ran in front of traffic during yesterday morning’s rush hour.

Police chiefs said the ‘reckless’ escalation had put motorists’ lives at risk. Writing for the Daily Mail today, Home Secretary Miss Patel and Transport Secretary Mr Shapps condemned the ‘arrogant’ protesters and promised decisive action to stop them.

The injunction is likely to be sought by National Highways in the High Court tomorrow. If granted, it means protesters will face arrest and a potential instant jail term for contempt of court.

The legal case is likely to focus on the danger to road users.  

Priti Patel (pictured in the Commons on Tuesday) and Grant Shapps instructed officials to seek an injunction against Insulate Britain

Free to cause more misery: Why are eco mob protestors STILL being released by police to cause days of M25 rush-hour chaos? 

Police were accused of failing to do their jobs and letting the environmentalists shutting down the M25 off the hook by not arresting them for more serious criminal offences. 

The decision to arrest the suspects for a lesser crime such as blocking a road has meant that there has been a revolving door of eco-warriors being released and then heading straight back to the M25. 

Officers have been holding them on suspicion of public nuisance and wilful obstruction offences, which police admit means ‘there is no power in law to remand them’.  

These crimes are often only punished with a fine from magistrates – and suspects are rarely held in custody. Instead there are more serious offences that could keep suspects in custody for longer. 

The first is Breach of the Peace, which can be used as a reason for arrest ‘if the consequence of your actions provoke others to use violence and the police reasonably believe a breach of the peace is about to happen, they can arrest you to prevent it’. 

Most people arrested for breach of the peace are held until the threat of a breach of the peace is over. In rare cases police can take a detainee to a magistrate’s court to seek a ‘bind-over’ – an order from a magistrate from the defendant that the suspect will keep the peace for a proportionate period of time 

The other offence, used in anti-fracking protests in the past is ‘obstruction of an officer’, which includes doing an act that forces the officer away from their duties.  This could be used on those who glued themselves to the highways.

Police arrested a large number of the Insulate Britain activists under this law, but no one has been charged. There were also arrests for the common law offence of public nuisance, and conspiracy to cause danger to road users under section 22A of the Road Traffic Act 1988. 

Hertfordshire Police said in a statement: ‘With the offences they were arrested for on Monday there is no power in law to remand them. They will face a court when the CPS have agreed that there is sufficient evidence to charge them with an offence, for which we need to gather evidence and build a case, considering the actions taken by all the protesters’. 

Obstruction of a British road ‘without lawful authority or excuse’ is an offence under Section 137 of the Highways Act 1980.

Police arrested a large number of the Insulate Britain activists under this law, but no one has been charged. There were also arrests for the common law offence of public nuisance, and conspiracy to cause danger to road users under section 22A of the Road Traffic Act 1988.

If police had been given the Crown Prosecution Service’s go ahead, they could have charged the activists with the obstruction offence and sent them to a magistrates’ court where they could be punished with a fine.

‘Priti and Grant are furious that the lives of the law-abiding majority are continuing to be disrupted by the actions of an extreme minority,’ said a source.

‘They 100 per cent back National Highways to take legal action against these individuals to ensure those who the police arrest are not released on bail and able to return to disrupting and endangering people’s lives in this way.’

Activists were filmed making a death-defying dash on to the M25 just before 8am yesterday. Drivers were forced to slam on their brakes. 

Some of the hardliners have been arrested five times over the past ten days, only to be released to return to block the motorway again.

Dr Bing Jones, who has been detained by police four times, told the BBC: ‘I accept that I put my life at risk. I don’t really accept that we have put other lives at risk.

‘The disruption weighs heavily on me but it is necessary. 

‘Insulating houses is by far the most cost-effective means of reducing carbon emissions within the UK and it could bring millions of people out of fuel poverty.’ 

Senior police officers said the risk to motorists was now ‘very high’ – yet the four forces dealing with the protests have charged only one activist. 

Surrey Police said it first received a call at 7.57am yesterday and arrived on the scene in three minutes. 

The protesters held up banners saying ‘Insulate Britain’ and poured blue paint on the road before they were dragged away by officers.

By 8.17am both carriageways were cleared and open, with 38 arrests being made.

Among those involved was Sue Parfitt, 79, a retired vicar who had already been arrested at least once. An Insulate Britain spokesman said the group was aware of only one activist in custody – possibly over a breach of bail – and said no charges had been brought.

They said the rise in gas prices ‘increased the urgency’ for change and the group would end its campaign in exchange for a ‘meaningful commitment’ to its demands for improved insulation in UK homes. 

Chief Superintendent Jerry Westerman of Surrey Police said the group had become ‘reckless’ and ‘a change from what we have seen recently’.

While it is not possible to remand people in custody for obstructing the highway, he said the force was willing to ‘use any kind of option to prevent crime happening’. 

Other activists have been arrested on suspicion of criminal damage, public nuisance and causing danger to road users. 

‘If we can find ways in the existing legal framework to prevent people coming back and repeatedly offending, we will absolutely use it, that is our aim, but there are some constraints,’ Mr Westerman added.

‘But we are looking at all of our options, and there may be some other things in the coming days and weeks that we are able to do that helps us in our in achieving our objectives.’

His colleague Chief Inspector Mike Hodder added that the ‘risk is very high when you are messing around on a motorway’. 

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police Service said: ‘Those arrested have been released under investigation whilst the crime team fully investigate all lines of inquiry.’

A Surrey Police spokesman confirmed no one had been charged over the protests.

Members of the eco-group Insulate Britain are blocking traffic on the motorway near junction 10 in Surrey

This is the moment that vehicles are forced to break on the M25 as protesters make their way across the carriageway

More than 30 protesters have been seen running into flowing traffic near Woking today. There are groups on both sides of the eight lane motorway

Protesters from Insulate Britain poured blue paint on the M25 and sat down on the carriageway as they carried out a fifth protest in eight days

Protesters from Insulate Britain block the M25 motorway near Cobham in Surrey on September 21

The protest caused tailbacks on both sides of the motorway, with five mile tailbacks on the westbound (or south) carriageway to junction 9

A spokesman for Hertfordshire Police also said it had made no charges but added that 32 people had been issued with community protection notices, which can lead to fines if not breached.

Kent Police said Alexander Rodger, 31, from Brighton, had been charged with criminal damage. A Crown Prosecution Service spokesman said: ‘Offences committed at a protest are often summary only and if the police have sufficient evidence they can charge those themselves without the need to come to us.’

The activists are treated individually and the offences for which each can be held are relatively minor and in most cases do not carry a custodial sentence. This means that – even if they are charged – they will not be remanded in custody.

We WILL use jail to end this motorway chaos: The protesters have broken the law and alienated the public, the Government will giving police powers to stop such guerrilla tactics, say PRITI PATEL and GRANT SHAPPS

But the Insulate Britain activists who have brought large sections of the M25 to a standstill in recent weeks have achieved the precise opposite. 

They have broken the law, undermined the cause they believe in, alienated the public, and created extra pollution, in one of the most self-defeating environmental protests this country has ever seen, particularly as we all strive so hard to rebuild after 18 months of the pandemic.

Insulate Britain activists have broken the law, undermined the cause they believe in, alienated the public, and created extra pollution, in one of the most self-defeating environmental protests this country has ever seen, writes PRITI PATEL (pictured)

Punishing motorists to make a point about home insulation makes absolutely no sense at all, writes GRANT SHAPPS (pictured)

Transport is so crucial to that recovery. With every day that passes, our roads and railways are helping more businesses to grow, and more people to find jobs.

Punishing motorists to make a point about home insulation makes absolutely no sense at all. 

As one van driver caught up in the chaos told a protester: ‘You are making people hate you.’

The police have our full support to take decisive action and we’re working with National Highways to take legal action against the protesters to ensure they cannot keep disrupting and endangering people’s lives in this way.

We are giving them powers to better manage such guerrilla tactics in future. 

In the medium-term, the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill will put public nuisance on a statutory footing, ensuring there are appropriate sentences for the harm caused.

People will continue to be able to make their voices heard without disrupting the lives of others. Even before the most recent demonstrations, the Metropolitan Police said that the actions of Extinction Rebellion – of which Insulate Britain is an offshoot – had cost the UK taxpayer a staggering £50million. 

The events of recent weeks – including the cleaning of blue paint which protesters pointlessly poured on to the road – will add to that already significant drain on public funds.

It is also ironic that many of the cars that have been caught up in the queues and congestion around the M25 are electric, with zero carbon emissions. 

There are now over half a million such cars in the UK, benefitting from one of the largest rapid charging networks in Europe.

Police arrive on the scene as protesters from the Insulate Britain pressure group block a roundabout near Stansted Airport last week

While Insulate Britain inflicts misery in its campaign of gesture politics, this government is getting on with the job of decarbonising our transport system by 2050.

Thousands of new charge points will encourage motorists to go electric in the coming decade as we phase out diesel and petrol. It is changes like this that make the difference, not posturing by a tiny minority who are arrogant enough to believe only they care about climate change.

We all agree that climate change must be tackled. But this sort of behaviour achieves nothing. 

It puts drivers at risk – and idling cars actually increase pollution. While this group of eco-warriors parade for the cameras, we are getting on with the job of delivering our ambitious targets.

We will not stand by and allow a small minority of selfish demonstrators to cause massive and dangerous disruption to the lives of the hard-working majority.

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