Two pensioners charged with criminal damage after alleged Magna Carta attack

The British Library has said the exhibition room housing the Magna Carta will be closed until further notice. Credit: X/@JustStop_Oil

Two pensioner have been charged with criminal damage after allegedly trying to break the glass protecting the Magna Carta at the British Library.

Judith Bruce, an 85-year-old from Swansea, and Reverend Sue Parfitt, 82, from Bristol, were arrested in London on Friday morning, the Metropolitan Police said.

They are alleged to have used a hammer and chisel on the protective casing around the historic document.

The Magna Carta, created in 1215, is the first document to set out the idea the king is not above the law. Credit: PA Images

'Just Stop Oil', who the women are alleged to have been protesting on behalf of, said the pair then held up a sign saying "The Government is breaking the law" and glued themselves to the display.

A statement from the British Library said its security team “intervened to prevent further damage to the case, which was minimal” and “the Magna Carta itself remains undamaged”.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...

The library said the exhibition housing the document - which sets out the principle no-one, including the king, is above the law - will be closed until further notice.

Both Ms Bruce and Reverend Parfitt were released on bail.

They are due to stand trial at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on June 20.

Have you heard our new podcast Talking Politics? Every week Tom, Robert and Anushka dig into the biggest issues dominating the political agenda…