Just Stop Oil protest that blocked fire engine slammed as 'unacceptable’ by Government
Videos shared online on Tuesday show a fire engine and an ambulance on blue lights unable to get through traffic
aA Just Stop Oil protest in London has been branded as “unacceptable” by the Government after a fire engine and an ambulance were apparently obstructed.
Separate videos shared online on Tuesday show a fire engine and an ambulance on blue lights unable to get through traffic after 32 protesters blocked three roads in Knightsbridge and Brompton Road, stopping vehicles in each direction, some gluing themselves to the road.
One video showed a stationary fire engine in the middle of a junction near Knightsbridge Underground Station, with protesters blocking the road both behind and in front of the fire engine.
Just Stop Oil later tweeted a video showing protesters moving out of the way of the fire engine with the caption: “Just Stop Oil supporters pause roadblock to let fire engine through.”
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “These sorts of protests which disrupt people’s daily lives or indeed can stop our emergency services from potentially saving lives are unacceptable.
“That’s why we’ve already toughened powers for the police, we’ve given them new powers to act and we are also taking further powers through the House at the moment to ensure they can go even further in preventing these individuals from disrupting people’s lives.”
When asked whether members of the public should intervene to remove protesters, the spokesman said that while the Government “can understand the public’s frustrations with their lives being disrupted in this way” it is “for the police to respond in the first instance to these sorts of protests”.
This is the group’s 11th consecutive day of disruption in London with protesters demanding the Government halt all new oil and gas licences and consents.
A Just Stop Oil spokesperson said: “Just Stop Oil policy, is and always has been, to let blue light emergency services through.
“It was reported this morning that emergency services were blocked in Knightsbridge. In reality one of our supporters directed an ambulance away from the road block and our supporters left the road to allow the fire engine to pass.
“The public are right to be upset, frustrated, irritated and angry – their lives have been disrupted.
“The Government can stop this today, by making a meaningful statement to end new oil and gas in the UK.”
A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: “Crews were on their way to an automatic fire alarm sounding on Foley Street in Fitzrovia.
“Five fire engines were sent to the scene, with an appliance from Soho Fire Station the first to arrive. Firefighters investigated and found no fire.
“An appliance from Kensington Fire Station was temporarily stopped by a road block and arrived within 14 minutes of being called.
“We work closely with our local authority and emergency service partners whenever there are road closure proposals to minimise impact on our service. However, given the nature of the event crews had no prior warning of the road block.”