Demonstrators block Downing Street gates in protest at PM’s climate approach

Posted on October 14, 2022Comments Off on Demonstrators block Downing Street gates in protest at PM’s climate approach
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undred of Extinction Rebellion supporters descended on Westminster to protest against Liz Truss’s approach to the environment during what was a difficult day for the Prime Minister.

Crowds of climate demonstrators arrived in Whitehall in central London on Friday afternoon, carrying colourful flags, setting off flares, chanting and banging drums.

Many were carrying placards with slogans such as “Employee of the month” above a Shell logo and a picture of Ms Truss as well as “Polluters must pay, listen to the people” and “People and the planet before profit”.

Protesters erupted in cheers as the news broke that Kwasi Kwarteng had been sacked from his role as Chancellor by the Prime Minister.

Hours later, many were still holding flags and listening to speeches when the newly appointed Chancellor Jeremy Hunt arrived at Downing Street to speak to Ms Truss.

Mr Hunt walked through the gates from the Foreign Office courtyard, past the pen of reporters and into No 10’s main entrance rather than entering via the main Downing Street gates where protesters were still blocking the road.

Joining the protest was dermatologist Olivia Stevenson, from Kettering in Northamptonshire, who did not want to give her age.

She told the PA news agency: “We have the climate emergency which is the biggest health crisis ever and nothing’s happening.”

Ms Stevenson, who was with a group of healthcare professionals wearing scrubs, said: “This is mass genocide what’s being done here.”

Why have I spent my career generating this information if the information is just going to be ignored

Conservation scientist Dr Charlie Gardner, 43, from Norwich, who was at the protest with a group of other scientists, said the Government’s recent policies affecting climate change and the protection of nature are “completely unacceptable”.

“I want to change the Government. This one is completely incompetent, completely immoral,” he said.

“Rather than doing what needs to be done, the Government is doing the exact opposite.

“As a scientist I find this intolerable.

“Why have I spent my career generating this information if the information is just going to be ignored?”

Bea Shrewsbury, 65, an accountant from Cornwall, said the Prime Minister must not put economic considerations ahead of the environment.

“We’re not anti-growth necessarily but we need to have growth in the right places – green energy and repairing things and just being more aware of our surroundings.”

It comes after the Government faced a fierce backlash from organisations including the Wildlife Trusts, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and the National Trust over proposals announced in Mr Kwarteng’s mini-budget last month.

Widespread concern was sparked by plans for “investment zones” where planning restrictions would be limited to make way for more housing developments as well as environmental land management schemes being potentially rolled back.

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