Watch: Tony Bambury says he'll never forgive protestors after disruption made him miss his father's funeral
A man from Buckinghamshire has spoken of his anger after he missed his father's funeral due to protests on the M25.
Tony Bambury, from Aylesbury, left his home on Monday to travel to the funeral just off the A13 near Pitsea.
He was travelling with family when he found out that Just Stop Oil protesters had blocked parts of the M25, affecting much of his journey.
Tony told ITV Meridian he diverted off of the motorway towards St Albans to try and find an alternative route to Essex, but got caught up in long queues of traffic.
Tony tells ITV Meridian how the protests affected him
"The sat nav was saying that [the route] was going to get me there at 11:15am. The service was due to start at 10:30am." He said.
"I basically made the decision to turn around and come home again...
"I said to my family there's nothing we can do here, we just have to go back...
"I called my Mum, who's 79, and was very upset as you can imagine. My brother and his family were there, I wanted to be there, and I had a eulogy that I was going to say about my father.
"These people have forced me not to go to my own father's funeral by their actions and it's not like I can get a second chance at this...
"I'll never forget what they've done and I'll never forgive what they have done."
On Monday 23 people were arrested after they climbed gantries on the M25 despite a major Metropolitan Police operation to foil plans by Just Stop Oil.
Assistant Commissioner Matt Twist branded the demonstrations as “criminality” with the intention of disrupting thousands of people’s lives.
Speaking to journalists on Monday, he said: “This isn’t protest, this is criminality where people are taking extremely hazardous steps disrupting the M25.
“This action is grossly disproportionate to any legitimate aim that this group may have. This is criminality and we’ll treat it as such.”
The Metropolitan Police arrested seven people before Monday’s protest on suspicion of “conspiracy to intentionally or recklessly cause public nuisance”, a new offence under the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 that carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.
He added: “We suspected that the intent of the individuals involved was completely disproportionate to any legitimate right to protest,” Mr Twist said.
But the protest went ahead, with forces including Kent, Essex, Surrey and Hertfordshire facing demonstrators in 13 locations.
Addressing the news of Tony missing his father's funeral, and others that have been affected, a representative from Just Stop Oil said they 'wished it didn't happen'.
James Harvey, a spokesperson for the group, said: "It's just awful - it's terrible that this happens. I wish it didn't happen but we don't have a choice at the moment."
James Harvey, Just Stop Oil
"We feel like this action has to be taken to bring the government to account on what they're not doing.
"We're facing a climate hell. But we will stop this action as soon as the government comes to the table and agrees to no new oil and gas projects in the North Sea."
Just Stop Oil has vowed to continue its action, saying it will demonstrate “every day” until the group’s demand for no new oil and gas in the UK is met.