Tory MP John Redwood pleads with eco-protesters not to 'wreck everybody else's lives' as chaos hits London
Sir John Redwood has hit out at eco-protesters as demonstrations wreak havoc across the UK
Sir John Redwood has pleaded with Just Stop Oil and Extinction Rebellion campaigners to "not wreck everybody's lives" as they continue to block oil depots and cause central London traffic chaos.
Just this morning, two activists abseiled down the side of London's Tower Bridge and unfurled a huge banner reading: “End fossil fuels now.”
The bridge, a main traffic artery across the Thames, was closed to vehicles, causing long queues.
The action by Extinction Rebellion, which is calling for an end to all new fossil fuel infrastructure, comes after eight days of disruption at oil facilities by the group and the Just Stop Oil coalition.
Speaking with GB News, the MP for Wokingham said: "They've got to understand that practically everybody in this country relies on oil and gas for many features of their life.
"They may need it for their home heating, they may need for their transport, they certainly need it for the production and the delivery of their food.
"They need it for their hospitals to be working with with warm wards and warm surgeries for GPs...elderly people's homes are heated by gas, so it'd be very cruel to stop it.
"All these things depend on oil and gas. So I would plead with them not to wreck everybody else's lives by trying to deliberately disrupt the supply that's crucial energy."
He continued: "By all means, campaign to take us on an energy transformation so, that in the future, more of those things can be done with renewables and electricity, but be realistic!"
More than 100 arrests have been made at a major fuel terminal during the week of protests by Just Stop Oil campaigners as activists sat on roads and on the top of oil tankers to prevent them leaving the sites.
Policing the fuel protests in Thurrock has cost the Essex Police force more than £1 million and put it under “real strain”.
A senior Essex Police officer has called for fuel companies to consider using private security to help officers “deal with these incidents quicker”.
Speaking to GB News, spokeswoman for the activist group Laura Norton broke down in tears as she made an impassioned plea to diverge from fossil fuels and invest in renewable energy.
She said: “I am so frightened and I don’t know how we’re not all panicking. Our children might not live to 30 because there won’t be a habitable planet anymore.
“People have to stop oil or we’re going to see the end of human-kind.
“We’re going to stay here until the government stop all new licenses and investigations into oil and gas.
"As soon as Boris Johnson signs that paper, we will move that instant. But until then, normal people like us, who don’t want to be here, will stay as long as we can."
Ms Norton added: “We're very cold... some of us will be wearing adult incontinence pants, some of us will be taking Imodium, so it's uncomfortable.”
Commenting on Boris Johnson’s new energy strategy, Sir John said: “I think it's very well, the government now agrees with those of us who have been saying for some time, we need to be energy self-sufficient in this country.
“We've been driven into too much import dependence by policies in the last two decades and we now see the dangers of this when one of the big energy suppliers to oil Russia behave so badly, and has to be taken out of supply chains creating scarcity and driving up prices.
“I'm pleased that the United Kingdom Government now agrees that whilst he wishes to move on from gas, oil and coal as quickly as possible, we're not going to be free of gas, oil and coal in the next three or four years indeed, we're going to need rather than more of the gas than we currently have available, which is why it's currently in such short supply and very highly price.”
Last week, Just Stop Oil said it blocked “10 critical oil terminals” across the UK today, including Exxon Mobil UK, one of the country’s largest privately-owned underground oil pipeline distribution networks.
Exxon Mobil UK wrote on Twitter: “Small protests are currently underway outside our Hythe, Birmingham and West London fuel terminals.
“While we respect the right to peaceful protest, our priority is the safety of our people, our neighbours, the protestors and our operations.
“We are working with the police to ensure that safety is maintained.”
The firm said it had temporarily suspended operations at the locations mentioned, but its other terminals at Purfleet and Avonmouth were not affected.