Tory former minister urges Rishi Sunak to BAN Just Stop Oil activists: 'They're not protesters - they're CRIMINALS'

The MP for Dartford called the activists a 'proscribed organisation'

Published Last updated

A Conservative former minister has called for the Prime Minister to consider making Just Stop Oil a “proscribed organisation” as he argued “these people are not protesters, they are criminals”.

Gareth Johnson, a former lawyer and justice minister, criticised the environmental activist group for blocking the Dartford Crossing in his constituency last month and “causing chaos for days”.

Raising the issue during Prime Minister’s Questions, the Tory MP asked Mr Sunak if he would consider proscribing the group “so that they can be treated as the criminal organisation they actually are”.

Conservative MP for Dartford Gareth Johnson
Conservative MP for Dartford Gareth Johnson

The Prime Minister said police have the Government’s full support in dealing with “the kinds of demonstrations we have seen recently”.

Under the Terrorism Act 2000, the Home Secretary may proscribe an organisation if they believe it is concerned in terrorism, and it is proportionate to do.

In the last couple of months, Just Stop Oil has been using civil resistance and direct action as part of its campaign to stop future gas and oil projects from going ahead.

The MP for Dartford said: “Last month Just Stop Oil clambered up the Dartford Crossing, causing chaos for days. They then attacked artworks, the M25 and anything else to cause misery and mayhem.

“These people are not protesters, they are criminals. Will the Prime Minister therefore consider making Just Stop Oil a proscribed organisation so that they can be treated as the criminal organisation they actually are?”

Just Stop Oil protesters caused major disruption with protests on the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge, which links Kent and Essex. Picture date: Tuesday October 18, 2022.
Just Stop Oil protesters caused major disruption with protests on the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge, which links Kent and Essex. Picture date: Tuesday October 18, 2022.

Mr Sunak replied: “The kinds of demonstrations we have seen recently disrupt people’s daily lives, they cause mass misery for the public and they put people in danger.

“The police have our full support in their efforts to minimise this disruption and tackle reckless and illegal activity.

“The Public Order Bill will give them the powers they need.”