Henry Smith MP has welcomed in the House of Commons (on Wednesday, 22nd September) legal action taken by the Government against climate protesters who have caused disruption on the M25 in recent weeks.
“I welcome this injunction to prevent protesters from disrupting any further commuters on the M25.
“The irresponsible actions of those taking part not only undermines their cause but endangers lives as well.
“While this deterrent should put a stop to such disruption I welcome assurances from the Crime & Policing Minister that the Government will consider seeking to extend the injunction to other parts of the highways network if this is what is needed.”
Activists who have been carrying out disruptive demonstrations along the M25 will be in contempt of court if they breach the terms of an interim injunction won by National Highways yesterday.
Breach of the injunction can be punishable by up to two years in prison and an unlimited fine.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Henry Smith MP asked the Minister of State for Crime & Policing;
“It was recently a pleasure to meet constituents as part of the Great Big Green Week, when we had a fruitful discussion about the challenges of climate change. I welcome the injunction against irresponsible protest. Will my right hon. Friend consider, if necessary, extending or applying to extend the injunction to other parts of the highways network, such as the M23, which serves my constituency and many important businesses, not least Gatwick Airport?”
The Minister of State for Crime & Policing, Rt Hon Kit Malthouse MP, responded;
“Of course we will, if required. Let us hope that the deterrent effect is enough, but if the protest extends to other parts of the motorway network, we will have to consider our judicial options while we wait for the legislation, currently in the other place, to emerge hopefully unamended so that we can put the public nuisance offence on the statute book.
“I am very pleased that my hon. Friend is engaging with constituents. He might be interested to know that on Friday, I had a meeting with representatives of CAFOD in my constituency, who urged me to follow the words of His Holiness and pursue our climate change ambitions. Out of that meeting came a pledge from me to hold a green summit in my constituency in the next few months, where we will bring people together to discuss what more we can do in beautiful North West Hampshire to make our contribution.”
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