Iain Duncan Smith calls for tougher punishment for Just Stop Oil protesters


If Just Stop Oil eco-zealots are not afraid of court injunctions, start fining them £1,000-a-time, suggests Sir Iain Duncan Smith

  • Nurses, commuters, and hospital patients hit out at Just Stop Oil protesters
  • At least 16 were arrested across Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent and Surrey on M25
  • Tony Bambury, of Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire missed his father’s funeral
  • The grieving son said he had ‘nothing but contempt’ for all of the protesters

A grieving son furiously criticised ‘selfish’ climate change activists yesterday after their motorway protests meant he missed his father’s funeral.

Nurses, commuters, hauliers and hospital patients hit out at Just Stop Oil protesters who defied a court injunction and climbed on gantries above the M25 yesterday, causing a second day of tailbacks.

At least 16 were arrested across Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent and Surrey on the country’s busiest motorway as the protesters repeated the action they took on Monday.

Tony Bambury, of Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, who missed his father’s funeral, said he had ‘nothing but contempt’ for every one of the protesters.

But the brazen group warned of more to come, despite a High Court injunction designed to bar them from the M25.

Police arrive as an activist from Just Stop Oil occupies a gantry over the M25 near Godstone in Surrey

Police arrive as an activist from Just Stop Oil occupies a gantry over the M25 near Godstone in Surrey

Scotland Yard last night said the injunction gave courts extra powers, while the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act was ‘suitable for more egregious breaches’.

But former Conservative leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith said injunctions were not proving a deterrent and called on police to issue on-the-spot fines instead. He said: ‘The one thing that gets through is if you start fining people £1,000.’

In total, 11 M25 junctions were hit at just after 7am. Most were reopened by lunchtime.

Mr Bambury who had tried to get to his father’s funeral in Pitsea, Essex, on Monday, said in a passionate message to the protesters on BBC Three Counties Radio: ‘What you have done to me will be staying with me forever.

‘You selfish, selfish people… I have nothing but contempt for every single one of you.’ A Just Stop Oil spokesman tried to say he was ‘really sorry’, but Mr Bambury told him: ‘You can take your apology and shove it where the sun does not shine.’

One medic, called Lauren, wrote on Twitter: ‘Been on a 12-hour night shift in A&E, haven’t slept in 16 hours and now having to wait on the M25 because of Just Stop Oil. Will you also take responsibility if I crash from exhaustion?’ Broadcaster James Whale said he missed a cancer check-up because of the ‘f*** wits on the M25’.

Specialist police climbers prepare to remove a protester from climate campaign group 'Just Stop Oil' after they climbed an overhead motorway gantry on the M25 between junction 14 and junction 15 causing both carriageways to be closed

Specialist police climbers prepare to remove a protester from climate campaign group ‘Just Stop Oil’ after they climbed an overhead motorway gantry on the M25 between junction 14 and junction 15 causing both carriageways to be closed

Paul Mummery from the Road Haulage Association said disrupting transport will push up the price of goods in shops.

Seasoned protester Edred Whittingham, 25, was among those bringing misery to the motorway. The well-spoken student who studied at Exeter University, said it was up to ‘everyday people’ to fix British politics.

A Just Stop Oil spokesman said: ‘This is not a one-day event, expect us every day and anywhere.’

Maitlis: Oil activists are like suffragettes 

Former BBC presenter Emily Maitlis has compared Just Stop Oil protesters to the suffragettes and US civil rights protesters.

In her podcast The News Agents, the ex-Newsnight host rejected a claim by fellow former BBC journalist Jon Sopel that Just Stop Oil were ‘grandstanding’ with ‘extreme’ protests.

She said: ‘One person’s grandstanding is another person’s civil rights action.

‘I don’t think Rosa Parks was grandstanding when she asked to sit down on a bus in Alabama. I don’t think anyone would call [suffragette] Emily Davison grandstanding when she ran in front of a horse. The only difference was the time.’

Miss Maitlis, who now works for LBC radio station owner Global, also read out an advert for podcast sponsor Virgin Atlantic airline.

However, climate activists condemn flying as damaging to the planet.

Miss Maitlis was last night unavailable for comment.

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