'He wanted to come here': HS2 protestor Swampy defends taking teenage son into Euston tunnels

Tap above to watch video report by Simon Harris

Bailiffs attempting to evict environmental activists from underground tunnels at Euston were today said to be 'very close' to breaking through.

Veteran campaigner Dan Hooper - better known as Swampy - told ITV News a single piece of plywood separated him from the eviction squad.

The tunnels were secretly dug beneath an anti-HS2 protest camp in Euston Square Gardens. Bailiffs began an operation to remove the activists last Wednesday, starting with tree house protesters.

The eviction team is believed to have constructed a down shaft and at one point broke through the wall of the tunnel. The activists claim they quickly plugged the hole with a piece of wood.

Swampy faced criticism today when it emerged his 16-year-son Rory was with him in the tunnel complex.

Conservative MP Andrew Mitchell told the Sun newspaper that Swampy was "reckless and irresponsible" for allowing his son to be in the tunnels

But Swampy told ITV News he would not put his son in harm's way.

"He's the one that wanted to come here. He was helping us dig and he was just really into the tunnels. If I felt that things were getting unsafe, he would come out," Swampy said.

"I would say we're very safe. We're in the down shaft still. They've still not broken through to our down shaft. They're very close, the other side of this bit of ply wood. Literally there's a bit of ply between me and the bailiffs," he added.

On Monday London's Mayor Sadiq Khan called on activists to abandon their tunnel protest at Euston, saying: "This is no way to protest".