Insulate Britain protesters block the M4 and M1 during rush hour
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Speaking ahead of the Conservative party conference in Manchester, the Prime Minister pledged tougher action on those looking to “inflict chaos and misery” on working people. For weeks, the country’s motorways have been brought to a standstill by environmental protesters.
On ten separate occasions since the start of September, the radical group Insulate Britain has held protests on motorways.
Gluing themselves to roads, the activists have caused hours of tailbacks.
Despite an interim injunction from the High Court banning such activity, the organisation has continued to block routes.
Vowing to put an end to the eco-warriors’ nonsense once and for all, Mr Johnson pledged to increase police power to end the protests.
“This Government will always stand on the side of the law-abiding majority and ensure the toughest penalties possible for criminals who deliberately bring major roads to a standstill,” he told the Mail on Sunday.
“We will give the police the powers they need to stop their reckless and selfish behaviour.
“The right to protest is sacrosanct, but there is no right to inflict chaos and misery on people trying to go about their lives.”
His firm message comes as he looks to rally Tory members at the party’s annual conference.
MPs and party activists have become frustrated at the lack of action being taken against the eco-rebels.
Insulate Britain is a spin-off of Extinction Rebellion and was set up by one of XR’s founders.
It wants the Government to insulate all homes across the UK by 2030 to help cut carbon emissions.
Sources say ministers are preparing to introduce an amendment to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill to crackdown on the havoc being caused.
The Bill has already cleared the Commons and is currently being considered by the House of Lords.
Home Secretary Priti Patel has already sparked controversy with the legislation, as campaigners accuse her of curtailing the right to protest.
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The Bill, if passed into law, would place extra restrictions on some protests likely to disrupt everyday life.
They include rules on noise levels and length of time.
So far more there have been more than 300 arrests associated with the Insulate Britain protests.
They have vowed to continue taking action despite being illegal under the interim high court order.
In a statement, they said: “We are deeply concerned that with rising fuel bills and not enough action on insulation, there will be further unnecessary suffering and deaths among the most vulnerable this winter.
“It’s not just cold and hungry Britain, it’s billions of pounds wasted on fuel costs for everyone.
“Failing to help hardworking families, failing to stop poverty fuel deaths, failing to protect the country we love from the biggest threat it has ever faced.
“We need our Government to keep us safe. Boris, get on with the job.”
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