Insulate Britain suspending road block protests after angry scenes on M25

Police officers detain a protester from Insulate Britain occupying a roundabout leading from the M25 motorway to Heathrow Airport in London. Picture date: Monday September 27, 2021.  Steve Parsons/PA
Police officers moving protesters from Insulate Britain occupying a roundabout leading from the M25 motorway to Heathrow Airport. Credit: Steve Parsons/PA

Insulate Britain, the environmental campaign group that has been blocking the M25 and other major roads, has announced it will suspend its protests.

The group has been causing huge delays for drivers for the past month as protesters staged 13 protests by sitting and even sticking themselves on motorways and A-roads.

It has now announced it will “suspend its campaign of civil resistance” until October 25.

The group is calling for urgent action from the government to insulate all of Britain’s homes, starting with the homes of the poorest people in the country, to tackle the climate crisis.

Arrests have been made during the Insulate Britain protest. Credit: PA

In a letter addressed to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the climate group -  an offshoot of Extinction Rebellion - wrote: "Insulate Britain would like to take this opportunity to profoundly acknowledge the disruption caused over the past five weeks.

"We cannot imagine undertaking such acts in normal circumstances. But the dire reality of our situation has to be faced.

The letter continued: "Ahead of Cop26, Insulate Britain will suspend its campaign of civil resistance until Monday, October 25."

"In light of the speech you made (to the UN on September 22) in which you recognised that 'We are approaching that critical turning point [...] We invite you to make a meaningful statement that we can trust [...] that your government will take the lead needed to insulate and retrofit our homes.

"We invite you to do the right thing, so we can be secure in the knowledge that our government did everything it could to protect and defend our country."

Protesters from Insulate Britain blocking the M25 on Wednesday. Credit: Insulate Britain/PA

Insulate Britain's most recent demonstration was on Wednesday morning, as around 20 protesters disrupted traffic at the M25 junction to London Road A1090 near Dartford Crossing, despite an injunction banning them from doing so.

The group forced vehicles, including lorries, to stop and turn around near a busy industrial estate in Essex and there were angry crashes between drivers and protesters.

Some protesters glued themselves to the carriageway.

Essex Police said it arrested 35 people in total, 16 were arrested at Junction 31 of the M25 and 19 were arrested in Stonehouse Lane in Purfleet.

Around 20 protesters blocked the junction to St Clements Way and London Road, in Thurrock Credit: Insulate Britain

The group is calling on the government to insulate all homes in Britain, starting with the homes of the poorest people.

National Highways were granted three injunctions banning the demonstrations on the M25, around the Port of Dover and on major roads around London.

At a second public High Court hearing on Tuesday, the three injunctions were extended until November 30.

A fourth injunction was granted to Transport for London (TfL) on October 8. Members of the group were seen burning the court orders outside the High Court on Tuesday.