Just Stop Oil protesters in court on conspiracy charges after plotting to cause M25 chaos

Activists caused disruption on the M25 after climbing on gantries Credit: PA Stills

The co-founder of Extinction Rebellion Roger Hallam has been remanded in custody for almost a month accused of plotting to cause chaos on the M25.

He was among eight people who were charged with conspiracy to cause a public nuisance after planning to cause disruption on the M25.

Hallam was one of three of those to appear in court on Tuesday along with Tim Hewes, 72, of New Road, Wantage, and Daniel Shaw, 36, of Adam’s Avenue, Northampton.

The judge sent their cases to Crown Court and all three will be remanded in custody until then.

If convicted in the crown court, they face a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

It came as officers from the Met and other forces arrested 16 activists as part of an ongoing proactive operation to tackle efforts to seriously disrupt the M25.

Police launched a major pre-emptive operation on Sunday to arrest those suspected of planning to take part in Just Stop Oil demonstrations on England’s busiest motorway this week.

Who is Just Stop Oil, who funds its activities, and what is it protesting about?

Other members of Just Stop Oil who were arrested for taking part in protests on Monday also appeared in court today.

Despite the operation and arrests, there were further disruptions on the motorway on Tuesday.

Images released by Just Stop Oil show protesters on gantries Credit: Just Stop Oil

Just Stop Oil said around 15 campaigners had climbed onto gantries at multiple locations on the M25.

Essex Police say they arrested one woman who had climbed a gantry at Junction 31 shortly after 7am.

The police say she was arrested within 90 minutes of patrolling officers spotting her at the Dartford River Crossing.

Another protestor had climbed a gantry at Junction 27 on the northbound track of the M25, forcing officers to close the road in both directions.

Police say they arrested one campaigner within 90 minutes of her climbing a gantry Credit: Essex Police

Efforts to disperse Tuesday's protests across the M25 involved the Metropolitan, Surrey, Kent and Essex police forces.

They have asked people stuck in traffic as a result of protesters to stay in their vehicles and not obstruct the hard shoulder.

The protests have attracted criticism from some members of the public caught up in delays.

Tom Skinner from The Apprentice vented on Instagram saying: "Do they understand that they are stopping people going to work?

"Stationary vehicles cause more pollution than moving? Let us get on with our lives.

"I know we need to do something about pollution, but there [are] better ways than this."

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