12 arrests after climate protesters block M25 and cause huge delays

12 arrests after climate protesters block M25 and cause huge delays
Footage shows campaigners sitting in middle of carriageway as they call on government to better insulate homes

Police have arrested at least 12 people after climate crisis protesters blocked off the M25 motorway, causing huge delays during the morning rush hour.

Insulate Britain has been holding demonstrations at several locations including Hertfordshire, Surrey, Kent and Essex since about 8am.

About 20 demonstrators were filmed sitting in the middle of the road at Junction 20 in Kings Langley, Hertfordshire, blocking access to the roundabout from both sides.

There were also reports of demonstrations at Junction 3 in Swanley, Junction 6 in Godstone, Junction 14 at Heathrow, Junction 30 at Thurrock and Junction 31 at Lakeside/Purfleet.

Video posted on Twitter by Paras Bagthalia showed protesters with banners blocking off all four lanes of the motorway, as well as the slip road, during one incident this morning.

Separate footage shared online showed one motorist attempting to drag a protester out of the road as tempers flared during another incident before a police car turned up.

Essex Police confirmed 12 people were arrested on suspicion of highways obstruction after the road was blocked near Junction 31 for Lakeside.

The force said it received a call shortly before 8.15am and the road was reopened by 10.45am after officers “worked to resolve the situation quickly and safely”.

Surrey Police also confirmed a “number of people” had been arrested following protests at Junctions 6 and 14.

The force said diversions were in place and officers were “working hard to reopen the motorway” but advised anyone travelling in the area to plan their journey.

Kent Police added: “Motorists attempting to join the M25 from Swanley, at junction 3, may encounter delays due to an obstruction caused by a group of people.

“Our officers are at the scene and engaging with those involved.

“Traffic is moving and being diverted to join the M25 at junction 4.”

Insulate Britain is calling on the government to “get on with the job of insulating Britain’s homes”.

The new group tweeted: “We are disrupting the M25. Why? We are demanding the government and @BorisJohnson create hundreds of thousands of jobs, lower our emissions, and save lives.”

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