Insulate Britain protest blocks the M25 for seventh time

Climate change activists Insulate Britain blocked the M25 for a seventh time on Wednesday morning.

The group blocked Junction 3 of the M25, the Swanley Interchange, at around 7.30am on Wednesday morning, causing tailbacks.

The roundabout was reopened by Kent Police just before 9am, resulting in the arrest of 11 protesters. 

The force warned that delays remained in the area whilst the backlog of traffic clears.

In an earlier statement, Kent Police also said that some of the protesters had glued their hands to the road surface.

The group’s latest protest comes amid warnings that the police forces hit by the protests on the M25 and A20 in Dover are investigating potential charges that could carry jail sentences of up to seven years.

Separately, National Highways said they are preparing to take up to 50 Insulate Britain demonstrators to court after they defied an injunction banning them from the M25.

Anyone who breaks the injunction could be found to be in contempt of court, which carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison or an unlimited fine.

The regional director of National Highways, Nicola Bell, said: "We are in the process of taking legal advice, and we will look to pursue those who repeatedly offend.

"The injunctions now in place are designed to put an end to dangerous and disruptive protest activity, and people who breach these injunctions face prison or an unlimited fine."

Insulate Britain protesters blocking a roundabout at Junction 3 of the M25 on Wednesday morning

Credit: Insulate Britain/PA

Reverend Tim Hewes, 71, being detained after protesting for Insulate Britain on the M25

Credit: Steve Parsons/PA

‘We are going nowhere’

Insulate Britain said in a statement on Wednesday that its protesters would continue to block roads, despite the High Court injunction, until the Government committed to a programme to insulate homes.

The group said: "We are going nowhere. You can raid our savings. You can confiscate our property. You can deny us our liberty and put us behind bars.

"But shooting the messenger can never destroy the message: that this country is going to hell unless you take emergency action to stop putting carbon into the air. Boris get on with the job."

Kent Police seek ‘most appropriate outcome’

A senior Kent police officer has said the force is working with prosecutors to seek "the most appropriate outcome" following Insulate Britain protests in the county.

Kent Police Superintendent Andy Gadd said: "Officers are continuing to conduct enquiries relating to those individuals arrested in connection with the protests in Dover and on the Kent section of the M25.

"As part of those enquiries, we are liaising closely with the Crown Prosecution Service to ensure that the most appropriate outcome is sought, including if any charges can be made.

"Kent Police will continue to monitor the situation, working with neighbouring police forces and partner agencies to ensure disruption to traffic and local communities is kept to a minimum."

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