Fifty-four Just Stop Oil activists were arrested on Tuesday as the group staged a sit down protest, blocking all entrances to Parliament Square in a fourth day of disruption.
The group are opposed to any new investment in fossil fuels.
The protests are in response to plans by the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA), the body that represents the UK’s offshore energy sector, which is hoping to launch a further round of oil and gas licensing in October.
The new Business and Energy Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg has approved the move saying: “in light of Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine and weaponisation of energy, strengthening our energy security is an absolute priority”.
A spokesperson from the Metropolitan Police said: “From 11:00hrs protesters began to assemble at Richmond Terrace before moving on to Parliament Square. “At about 12:10hrs, protesters blocked traffic routes into Parliament Square, five of whom glued themselves to the ground. “Officers have engaged with protesters and some left the scene. “Officers arrested 54 protestors on suspicion of wilful obstruction of the highway. They have been taken into custody at various London police stations where they remain. “By approximately 14.30hrs, officers had re-opened access routes to Parliament Square.”Just Stop Oil plan to protest in Westminster every day for the whole of October.
On Twitter the group wrote: "Oil and gas are plunging millions into poverty, causing widespread suffering and killing people now. We will not stop until the UK Government halts all new oil and gas licensing."