Just Stop Oil: More than 50 arrested after eco-protesters block central London roads

Police have arrested 54 people after eco-protesters blocked traffic around Parliament Square and some glued themselves to the ground.

Activists with Just Stop Oil, which has vowed protest action from 11am every day this month in Westminster, began blocking traffic routes into Parliament Square just after noon.

The Met Police said it had arrested 54 activists on suspicion of wilful obstruction of the highway.

They have been taken into custody at various London police stations where they remain and the roads were re-opened by around 2.30pm.

In its explanation of why the concerted action has been taken, Just Stop Oil said on its website: “Our supporters will be returning – today – tomorrow- and the next day – and the next day after that – and every day until our demand is met – no new oil and gas in the UK.

“We will not stand by while everything we know and love is wilfully destroyed. We do this because it is the right thing to do and so we have a duty, a responsibility to continue.”

It claimed that around sixty people took part in the disruption, chanting “No new oil”. The Met Police said some of those involved dispersed after being spoken to by officers.

It comes after climate activists with the group blocked four major London bridges on Saturday.

Protesters assembled on the four key bridges leading to Westminster - Waterloo, Westminster, Lambeth and Vauxhall - to demand the government take “immediate” steps to “end the climate and cost of living crisis”.

The demonstration was held in response to plans by the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA), the body that represents the UK’s offshore energy sector, which is hoping to launch a further round of oil and gas licensing in October.

The Business and Energy Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg has given the move the green light, stating that “in light of Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine and weaponisation of energy, strengthening our energy security is an absolute priority”.