Greenpeace frozen out by No 10 for Rishi house protest
Greenpeace should not be given a “seat at the table” in discussions of climate-related issues following an anti-oil protest at Rishi Sunak’s constituency home, No10 has said.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said all Government departments must suspend engagement with the environmental group.
Civil servants in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs were last week told to cut ties with Greenpeace.
The No10 official said: “We obviously don’t think that people who are accused of breaking the law should have a seat at the table in discussions with Government. My understanding is that Defra aren’t engaging with Greenpeace because of those actions.
“I don’t think its unusual for Defra or other agencies to engage with climate action groups. But clearly given their actions and the arrests last week we don’t think it’s appropriate to engage with them.”
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It comes after a group of demonstrators scaled Mr Sunak’s home in North Yorkshire last Thursday to protest against plans to grant more than 100 new licences for oil and gas extraction in the North Sea. The activists draped an oil-black fabric from the roof. Five were arrested and bailed pending further inquiries.
Areeba Hamid, co-executive director of Greenpeace, defended the protest as “carefully” planned for when the Prime Minister and his family were away on holiday.
She said that it was a “proportionate response to a disastrous decision” by Mr Sunak to allow for further drilling.
Elliot Foskett, assistant chief constable of North Yorkshire Police, said: “There was no threat to the wider public throughout this incident, which [was] brought to a safe conclusion.”
But Peter Walker, a former deputy chief constable from the force, said it was a “major breach of security”, and has called for an “investigation into how this has been allowed to happen”.
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