Rishi Sunak tells police chiefs he will give them ‘everything they need’ to crack down on Just Stop Oil’s eco zealots at No10 rally
- PM vows to give police chiefs ‘everything they need’ to halt Just Stop Oil chaos
- Rishi Sunak takes part in a Downing Street meeting with police leaders about protests
- He says it is “completely unacceptable” for Britons’ lives to be disrupted
Rishi Sunak tonight vowed to give police chiefs “everything they need” to crush disruptive protests from groups like Just Stop Oil.
The Prime Minister attended a meeting with police leaders on Downing Street this afternoon in the wake of the environmentalists’ guerrilla tactics.
Just Stop Oil has recently caused misery for motorists by repeatedly closing sections of Britain’s busiest motorway, the M25, including climbing the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge at the Dartford junction.
They have also blocked major roads in London using various methods, such as gluing themselves to tarmac or walking slowly in front of traffic, to cause chaos for commuters and hinder the work of emergency services.
Interior Secretary Suella Braverman and Police Secretary Chris Philp also attended the roundtable talks with police chiefs this afternoon.
After the meeting, Mr Sunak stated that it was ‘completely unacceptable’ for the lives of the British to be disrupted by a ‘selfish minority’.
“My view is that those who break the law should feel its full force, and that is what I am determined to deliver,” he said.
Rishi Sunak stated that it was “completely unacceptable” for the lives of the British to be disrupted by a “selfish minority”
Prime Minister vowed to give police chiefs ‘everything they need’ to crush disruptive protests
Just Stop Oil has recently caused misery to drivers by forcing repeated closures of sections of the M25, including climbing the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge at the Dartford junction
Protesters have also blocked major roads in London using various methods, such as gluing themselves to asphalt
The prime minister also revealed that he had promised the police all the powers they needed from the government to end the disruption caused by groups such as Just Stop Oil.
The Public Order bill, aimed at limiting disruptive protests, is already before parliament.
But Mr. Sunak hinted at further tightening of the laws, if the police deemed it necessary.
“We are currently giving the police new powers to suppress these illegal protests,” he added.
“They will have my full support to act decisively and swiftly to end the misery and disruption being caused to ordinary families across the country.
“I told the police they will have everything they need from the government in terms of new powers.”
It recently emerged that Mr. Sunak has been increasingly expressing his frustration in No10 rallies at the disruption that continues to be caused by protesters.
This is despite Just Stop Oil supporters having been arrested more than 1,800 times since their campaign began on April 1.
Ahead of today’s meeting, Downing Street said talks with police leaders were being held because “more needs to be done” to stop disruptive demonstrations.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “We want to talk to police leaders about whether they need more powers or more guidance on how to take forward some of these guerrilla tactics that we’ve seen.
“Obviously some new tactics have been tried in recent days and we are well aware that the public wants us to deal with this.
‘And so it’s good that we’re talking to those responsible in our police services.’
Sir Mark Rowley, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, suggested that Just Stop Oil had become ‘much less assertive’ in their recent action as their leaders were in custody.
He told the London Assembly today: “Frankly I have seen Just Stop Oil become much less assertive in their recent protests, frankly as a result of a large number of their leaders being taken into custody as a result of our operations . .
“I am absolutely determined that anything beyond lawful and reasonable protest by seriously disrupting London, by causing damage to property, will be vigorously dealt with.
“That’s why we used the more serious offenses, such as the statutory offense of nuisance – we brought the majority of the 60 offenders to justice for that offense in one go.”
Sir Mark admitted that most court cases against Just Stop Oil protesters are scheduled for 2024 due to delays in the criminal justice system.