Insulate Britain climate protesters arrested after blocking M25 for fifth time

Credit: Surrey Police

Police have arrested at least 38 environmental protesters after members of Insulate Britain tried to block the M25 for the fifth time in just over a week.

Officers from Surrey Police responded to reports of protests on the clockwise and anticlockwise carriageways between junction 9 and 10 for Woking of the M25.

The force confirmed that “a number” of demonstrators were at the scene, where they had poured blue paint on to the motorway, and urged drivers to avoid the area where possible.

The demonstration was reported at around 8am, but officers have since removed the protestors off the road, allowing for both of the carriageways to be fully re-opened.

Insulate Britain confirmed they led the protest, adding that new people have joined their campaign to improve home insulation in addition to the others who have been involved in similar demonstrations in Hertfordshire, Kent, Essex and Surrey over the past week.

The group, which is an offshoot of Extinction Rebellion, has made headlines on five separate occasions for disrupting traffic on the UK’s busiest motorway during the morning rush hour.

It claims that the recent rise in gas and electricity costs has “increased the urgency” for change and they would end their campaign as soon as they hear a “meaningful commitment” to their demands.

Police officers work to free protesters who had glued themselves to a slip road at Junction 4 of the A1(M), near Hatfield on Monday. Credit: PA

Spokesperson Liam Norton said: "The idea that people would suddenly decide insulating our leaky homes is a bad idea as a result of our campaign is frankly laughable.

"We are simply asking the government to get on with the job. "The people of Britain understand that climate change is a severe threat to everything they hold dear. They are looking to the government for leadership.

"We have a practical solution and have received encouragement for our aims from many construction industry professionals."

Police officers carry away a protester who had glued himself to the highway at a slip road at Junction 4 of the A1(M), near Hatfield Credit: PA

On Friday morning, protesters targeted Junctions three, at Swanley in Kent, nine at Leatherhead in Surrey, and 28, near Brentwood in Essex.

Surrey Police said officers had arrested 14 people at junction nine.

Last Monday, the offshoot of Extinction Rebellion staged sit down protests at Junction 3 for Swanley in Kent, Junction 6 for Godstone in Surrey, Junction 14 for Heathrow Terminal 5, Junction 20 for Kings Langley in Hertfordshire, and Junction 31 for Purfleet in Essex.

A total of 78 people were arrested following the demonstrations.

Protesters claim they do not want to disrupt traffic but are forced to out of desperation as they feel "this is the only action we hope the government will take note of".