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CLIMATE activists blocked several junctions of the M25 today for the third time this week — only hours after being released by police.
As Transport Secretary Grant Shapps demanded that officers take “swift action” to remove the protesters, Insulate Britain insisted that its members would continue to take direct action until the government commits to insulating 29 million “leaky” homes by 2030.
Surrey Police said that officers had arrested 14 people at Junction nine at Leatherhead, while the Essex force said that a further 24 had been detained at Junction 28 of the M25 and at Junction 11 of the M11.
The M25’s Junction 3 at Swanley in Kent and Junction 28 near Brentwood in Essex were also targeted, but by late morning police announced that all carriageways had been cleared.
Insulate Britain said that 79 of its members had taken part in today’s action after being released from custody and that at least 40 had been arrested.
A statement from the group said: “We demand credible action now.
“Proper jobs for hundreds of thousands of people to start the first real step — to insulate all the homes of this country — which, pound for pound, gives us the biggest reduction in carbon emissions.
“It is a total no-brainer and yet this government refuses to get on with the job.”
Mr Shapps denounced the protests as “dangerous and counterproductive.”
He said: “We all agree that climate change must be tackled, but this sort of behaviour achieves nothing, puts drivers at risk and increases pollution.”
His remarks followed a similar call by Home Secretary Priti Patel to crack down on the protests, which she described as “unacceptable.”
Responding to Ms Patel, the group said: “What is unacceptable is the deaths of 8,500 people from fuel poverty.”
Activist Harry, a solar engineer from Cornwall, said: “I’m taking part in this action because I want the government to move faster on reducing CO2 emissions.
“Insulating homes is not only in line with the government’s promises but is an easy win in the battle to reduce emissions.
“Home insulation gives the biggest reduction in carbon emissions for each pound spent — it’s time to get started.”
Fellow group member Val, a pensioner from Gloucester, said: “Heating or eating? No family should have to make that choice. We need to make insulating Britain our biggest priority to reduce CO2 emissions.”
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