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5 climate activists arrested after protest at UK PM Sunak’s private home over new oil & gas drilling licenses


Five people were arrested after climate activists draped a black cloth over UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s private North Yorkshire home in protest against his policy to “max out” the country’s oil and gas resources in the North Sea. On Thursday, the demonstrators from Greenpeace Environmental managed to climb onto the house located near Sunak’s constituency of Richmond, reports CNN. They used ladders and climbing ropes to access the roof, where they unravelled 200 square meters of “oil-black fabric” to cover part of the mansion, Greenpeace said in a statement.

Members of the group also unfurled a banner across the lawn which read: “Rishi Sunak – Oil Profits or Our Future?” Also in a tweet, the group said: “NEWS FLASH: The science is clear, for a safe climate there must be NO NEW oil and gas projects… Rishi Sunak you can’t be serious about approving more oil and gas?” A spokesperson for North Yorkshire Police said officers had “contained the area” and no one had entered the building, the BBC reported. A large cordon was put in place and specialist police liaison officers were used to bring the protesters down from the roof of the property. In a statement, Assistant Chief Constable Elliot Foskett, said: “There was no threat to the wider public throughout this incident which has now been brought to a safe conclusion.”

To ensure the UK’s energy security 

Of the five people, two men and two women were arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage and public nuisance, while the remaining person was also arrested on suspicion of causing a public nuisance. North Yorkshire Police said all those arrested remained in police custody. The Prime Minister’s Office confirmed neither Sunak nor his family were present at the time of the incident, the BBC reported. Condemning the incident, Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden said he thought the British people were “sick of these stupid stunts”. Labour’s shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper called it “disgraceful”.

The protest was in response to the UK government’s plans, unveiled on Monday to issue hundreds of licenses to drill for oil and gas in the North Sea, Sunak said that he hoped the project would provide the UK with domestically-sourced energy while it transitions to a net zero economy by 2050. He also announced plans to build two new carbon capture and storage sites, to be completed by 2030, reports CNN. His office said the first 100 drilling licenses are expected to be approved in the fall, “unlocking vital reserves which can be brought online faster”.

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